To evaluate factors influencing orthopedic surgeons' decision in daily practice to recommend or not recommend total hip arthroplasty (THA) in patients with hip osteoarthritis (OA).


General practitioners and rheumatologists were asked to prospectively include 1 patient with hip OA for whom a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon was planned to determine whether or not THA was indicated. The following variables were obtained: age, sex, occupational status, body mass index, comorbidities, duration of hip OA, patient's global assessment, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index pain and functioning subscale scores, New Zealand score, quality of life, and structural parameters on radiographs. The surgeon's decision was obtained by followup questionnaires. Statistical analysis evaluated potential predictors of the surgeon's decision (indication for THA within the next 6 months, yes or no) using univariate and multivariate analysis.


A total of 558 patients were included (249 men, 300 women, mean age 68.4 years, mean disease duration 4.9 years). The surgeon's decision, available for 486 patients, was to prescribe THA in 60.7% of patients. On multivariate analysis, the variables related to the surgeon's decision were the presence or absence of severe cardiovascular disease, Short Form 12 physical subscale score, and amount of joint space narrowing.


While the amount of structural degradation is only slightly or not at all taken into account in numerous criteria and/or recommendations on indications for THA, it is an independent predictor of the surgeon's decision in daily practice. Such a discrepancy should be evaluated and understood in further studies.