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J Biomech. 1992 Dec;25(12):1443-50.

Evaluation of frontal radiographs of scoliotic spines--Part II. Relations between lateral deviation, lateral tilt and axial rotation of vertebrae.

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  • 1Institut für Experimentelle Biomechanik, Universität Münster, F.R.G.


The shape of scoliotic spines as measured from frontal radiographs (see Part I of this paper) is analysed with respect to interrelations between lateral deviation, lateral tilt and axial rotation of the vertebrae. These parameters are represented by sinusoidal functions of the longitudinal coordinate. The interrelations can, therefore, be expressed in terms of amplitude and phase relations. Two additional functions--'spinal tilt' and (local) curvature--are calculated from the first and second derivatives of lateral deviation. The method has been applied to three patient groups with different aetiology: 113 patients with idiopathic scoliosis (478 radiographs, partially follow-up examinations), 23 patients with scoliosis secondary to Wilms' tumour irradiation and 18 patients with scoliosis secondary to poliomyelitis. The amplitude and phase relations of all functions reveal a characteristic pattern which is apparently independent of the specific aetiology. The results show that the available biomechanic explanations of coupling of vertebral motions are questionable.

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