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Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 1989;108(3):173-5.

Leg-length inequality has poor correlation with lumbar scoliosis. A radiological study of 100 patients with chronic low-back pain.

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Department of Clinical Orthopedics, Orthopedic Hospital of the Invalid Foundation, Helsinki, Finland.


Leg-length inequality and its hypothetical consequences, pelvic tilt and lumbar scoliosis, were measured in 100 young or middle-aged adults suffering from chronic low-back pain. Leg-length inequality had a good correlation with the pelvic tilt assessed from the iliac crests, a moderate correlation with the sacral tilt, but a poor correlation with the lumbar scoliosis. The sacral tilt correlated well with the lumbar scoliosis when the tilt was more than 3 degrees but poorly when it was smaller. Thus, there is a gradually decreasing correlation between the posture parameters when moving from the hips up to the lumbar spine. We conclude that before a radiologically observed leg-length inequality be considered as the cause of low-back pain, an erect-posture radiograph of the whole pelvis and lumbar spine is essential, in order to assess an existing pelvic tilt and scoliosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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