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Eur Spine J. 1998;7(2):99-103.

Pelvic incidence: a fundamental pelvic parameter for three-dimensional regulation of spinal sagittal curves.

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Orthopaedic Surgery Department, University Hospital Mont-Godinne, Yvoir, Belgium.


This paper proposes an anatomical parameter, the pelvic incidence, as the key factor for managing the spinal balance. Pelvic and spinal sagittal parameters were investigated for normal and scoliotic adult subjects. The relation between pelvic orientation, and spinal sagittal balance was examined by statistical analysis. A close relationship was observed, for both normal and scoliotic subjects, between the anatomical parameter of pelvic incidence and the sacral slope, which strongly determines lumbar lordosis. Taking into account the Cobb angle and the apical vertebral rotation confers a three-dimensional aspect to this chain of relations between pelvis and spine. A predictive equation of lordosis is postulated. The pelvic incidence appears to be the main axis of the sagittal balance of the spine. It controls spinal curves in accordance with the adaptability of the other parameters.

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