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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2009 Aug 1;34(17):E599-606. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181aad219.

Pelvic tilt and truncal inclination: two key radiographic parameters in the setting of adults with spinal deformity.

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NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, NY 10010, USA.



Prospective radiographic and clinical analysis.


Investigate the relationship between spino-pelvic parameters and patient self reported outcomes on adult subjects with spinal deformities.


It is becoming increasingly recognized that the study of spinal alignment should include pelvic position. While pelvic incidence determines lumbar lordosis, pelvic tilt (PT) is a positional parameter reflecting compensation to spinal deformity. Correlation between plumbline offset (sagittal vertical axis [SVA]) and Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) measures has been demonstrated, but such a study is lacking for PT.


This prospective study was carried out on 125 adult patients suffering from spinal deformity (mean age: 57 years). Full-length free-standing radiographs including the spine and pelvis were available for all patients. HRQOL instruments included: Oswestry Disability Index, Short Form-12, Scoliosis Research Society. Correlation analysis between radiographic spinopelvic parameters and HRQOL measures was pursued.


Correlation analysis revealed no significance pertaining to coronal plane parameters. Significant sagittal plane correlations were identified. SVA and truncal inclination measured by T1 spinopelvic inclination (T1-SPI) (angle between T1-hip axis and vertical) correlated with: Scoliosis Research Society (appearance, activity, total score), Oswestry Disability Index, and Short Form-12 (physical component score). Correlation coefficients ranged from 0.42 < r < 0.55 (P < 0.0001). T1-SPI revealed greater correlation with HRQOL compared to SVA. PT showed correlation with HRQOL (0.28 < r < 0.42) and with SVA (r = 0.64, P < 0.0001).


This study confirms that pelvic position measured via PT correlates with HRQOL in the setting of adult deformity. High values of PT express compensatory pelvic retroversion for sagittal spinal malalignment. This study also demonstrates significant T1-SPI correlation with HRQOL measures and outperforms SVA. This parameter carries the advantage of being an angular measurement which avoids the error inherent in measuring offsets in noncalibrated radiographs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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