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J Pediatr Orthop. 2008 Mar;28(2):218-24. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0b013e3181651bdc.

Postural characteristics of adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis.

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Faculté de Médecine, Université de Montréal, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada.



The objectives of this study were to compare the postural characteristics of idiopathic scoliosis (IS) patients with different types of spinal curvature and to compare a motion capture and a sequential digitization technique to estimate the postural characteristics of the IS patients.


A total of 57 IS patients underwent a radiological, clinical, and postural geometric evaluations in an upright standing position as part of their regular follow-up. The posteroanterior radiograph of the trunk was used to measure the amplitude of spinal curvature. The postural evaluation was performed using a motion capture and sequential digitization technique providing the necessary 3-dimensional positions of anatomical landmarks. These landmarks were used to calculate postural parameters defining the position and orientation of the pelvis, shoulders, and shoulder blades. These measurements included lateral shift and angular measures of rotation and tilt.


Significant differences in the frontal and transverse planes were found between the right thoracic (RTh), left thoracolumbar, and RTh-left lumbar (RThLL) patients. These characteristics were most prominent in the transverse plane for RTh patients, in the frontal plane for left thoracolumbar patients, and in the frontal and transverse planes for the RThLL lumbar patients. A strong positive intraclass correlation was also found between the parameters estimated with the motion capture system and with the sequential digitization system.


Unique postural characteristics that are related to the type of the spinal curvature are evident in adolescents who have IS. Further work is necessary to assess how these measures may be used to monitor the progression of the spinal deformity.


Quantifying the postural alignment of IS patients using surface anthropometric landmarks provides an opportunity to characterize the unique postural attributes that accompany each type of spinal curvature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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