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Chiropractic Research Review

Evaluating Idiopathic Scoliosis without Radiographs

Three-dimensional changes associated with idiopathic scoliosis result in postural changes in the coronal and sagittal planes. Measurements of kyphosis and lordosis serve as important components of patient evaluation and followup, although the repetitive exposure to x-ray radiation necessary to assess these variables emphasizes the need for noninvasive alternatives.

In a study designed to evaluate the accuracy of a noninvasive anthropometric approach to measuring kyphosis and lordosis, lateral radiographs were used to measure spinal curvature in 124 female patients with an average age of 13.5 years.

The sagittal spinal curve of all patients was also assessed using the videographic technique. For this technique, circular reflective markers were placed on the skin at levels corresponding to specific spinal processes; the video machine then detected these markers and fed the information into a computer.

Kyphosis and lordosis measures obtained using both approaches were compared, with the authors noting some differences in measurement values between radiographic analysis and anthropometric analysis using. In their conclusion, the authors suggest that with further research, this noninvasive approach to assessing scoliosis may prove helpful in reducing radiograph exposure while still allowing for accurate measurement of spine sagittal curvatures.

Leroux MA, Zabjek K, Simard G, et al. A noninvasive anthropometric technique for measuring kyphosis and lordosis. Spine 2000:25(13), pp1689-1694.

Chiropractic Research Review

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