Relationships between Spinal Landmarks and Skin Surface Markers

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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This investigation determined relationships between coronal vertical alignment (CVA) and sagittal vertical alignment (SVA) variables calculated from radiographs and surface markers representing bony landmarks. Biplanar radiographs were taken on 28 subjects (standing) after 2 metallic surface markers were placed on the skin superficial to C7 and S2. The CVA-R and SVA-R were measured on the radiographs. Similar variables were calculated from the surface markers (CVA-P-R, SVA-P-R). Correlation between CVA-R and CVA-P-R was 0.894 (p < 0.000), and between SVA-R and SVA-P-R was 0.946 (p < 0.000). Results lead to three recommendations: (1) obtain surface marker data when radiographs are taken to establish relationships between the two sets of data, (2) take care in providing instructions to the subjects if measures are to be taken at different times, and (3) observe caution in interpreting results when simultaneous x-ray and surface marker data were not recorded.

Engsberg and Trout are with the Program in Occupational Therapy, Lenke and Bridwell are with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Uhrich is with the Department of Applied Physiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO.