The relationship between pelvic tilt, frontal, and axial leg alignment in healthy subjects

Published:November 03, 2022DOI:



      The relationship between anterior pelvic tilt and overall sagittal alignment has been well-described previously. However, the relationship between pelvic tilt, frontal, and axial leg alignment remains unclear. The aim of the study was to analyze the relationship between pelvic tilt and frontal and axial leg alignment in healthy subjects.

      Material and methods

      Thirty healthy subjects (60 legs) without prior surgery underwent standing biplanar long leg radiograph. Pelvic parameters (pelvic tilt, pelvic incidence, sacral slope), hip-knee-ankle angle (HKA), femoral antetorsion and tibial torsion were measured using SterEOS (EOS Imaging) software. EOS was acquired with the feet directing straight anteriorly, which corresponds to a neutral foot progression angle (FPA). The influence of HKA, femoral antetorsion, tibial torsion and gender on pelvic tilt was analyzed in a univariate correlation and multiple regression model.


      Sixteen female subjects and 14 male subjects with a mean age of 27.1 years ± 10 (range 20–67) were included. HKA, femoral antetorsion, and tibial torsion correlated with anterior pelvic tilt in univariate analysis (all p < 0.05). Anterior pelvic tilt increased 1.1° (95% CI: 0.7 to 1.5) per 1° of knee valgus (p < 0.001) and 0.5° (95% CI: 0.3 to 0.7) per 1° of external tibial torsion (p < 0.001). Overall, linear regression model fit explained 39% of variance in pelvic tilt by the HKA, femoral antetorsion and tibial torsion (R2 = 0.385; p < 0.001).


      Valgus alignment and increasing tibial torsion demonstrated a weak correlation with an increase in anterior pelvic tilt in healthy subjects when placing their feet anteriorly. The relationship between frontal, axial leg alignment and pelvic tilt needs to be considered in patients with multiple joint disorders at the hip, knee and spine. Alteration of the frontal, or rotational profile after realignment surgery or by implant positioning might influence the pelvic tilt when the FPA is kept constant.


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