Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 468, Issue 3, pp 769–774 | Cite as

The Ischial Spine Sign: Does Pelvic Tilt and Rotation Matter?

  • Diganta K. Kakaty
  • Andreas F. Fischer
  • Harish S. Hosalkar
  • Klaus A. Siebenrock
  • Moritz TannastEmail author
Clinical Research


Although the ischial spine sign (ISS) has been advocated to detect acetabular retroversion, it is unknown whether the sign is valid on anteroposterior (AP) pelvic radiographs with tilted or rotated pelves. We therefore evaluated reliability of the ISS as a tool for diagnosing acetabular retroversion in the presence of considerable pelvic tilt and/or malrotation. We obtained radiographs of 20 cadaver pelves in 19 different malorientations resulting in 380 pelvis images (760 hips) for evaluation. In addition, 129 clinical radiographs of patients’ hips that had varying pelvis orientations were reviewed. We found an overall sensitivity of 81% (90%), specificity of 70% (71%), positive predictive value of 77% (80.7%), and negative predictive value of 75% (85%) in the cadaver (patient) hips. Our data suggest the ISS is a valid tool for diagnosing acetabular retroversion on plain radiographs taken using a standardized technique regardless of the degree of pelvic tilt and rotation.


Pelvic Tilt Femoroacetabular Impingement Ischial Spine Receiver Operate Characteristic Curve Curve Acetabular Retroversion 
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Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons® 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diganta K. Kakaty
    • 1
  • Andreas F. Fischer
    • 1
  • Harish S. Hosalkar
    • 2
  • Klaus A. Siebenrock
    • 1
  • Moritz Tannast
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, InselspitalUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryHospital of the University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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