Segmental torso masses and coronal plane joint torques in the adolescent scoliotic spine

Keenan, Bethany E., Izatt, Maree T., Askin, Geoffrey N., Labrom, Robert D., Pettet, Graeme J., Pearcy, Mark J., & Adam, Clayton J. (2013) Segmental torso masses and coronal plane joint torques in the adolescent scoliotic spine. In Stanford, Ralph E. (Ed.) 24th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Spine Society of Australia, Spine Society of Australia, Pan Pacific Perth Hotel, Perth, Australia.


Introduction. Calculating segmental (vertebral level-by-level) torso masses in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) patients allows the gravitational loading on the scoliotic spine during relaxed standing to be determined. This study used CT scans of AIS patients to measure segmental torso masses and explores how joint moments in the coronal plane are affected by changes in the position of the intervertebral joint’s axis of rotation; particularly at the apex of a scoliotic major curve.

Methods. Existing low dose CT data from the Paediatric Spine Research Group was used to calculate vertebral level-by-level torso masses and joint torques occurring in the spine for a group of 20 female AIS patients (mean age 15.0 ± 2.7 years, mean Cobb angle 53 ± 7.1°). Image processing software, ImageJ (v1.45 NIH USA) was used to threshold the T1 to L5 CT images and calculate the segmental torso volume and mass corresponding to each vertebral level. Body segment masses for the head, neck and arms were taken from published anthropometric data. Intervertebral (IV) joint torques at each vertebral level were found using principles of static equilibrium together with the segmental body mass data. Summing the torque contributions for each level above the required joint, allowed the cumulative joint torque at a particular level to be found. Since there is some uncertainty in the position of the coronal plane Instantaneous Axis of Rotation (IAR) for scoliosis patients, it was assumed the IAR was located in the centre of the IV disc. A sensitivity analysis was performed to see what effect the IAR had on the joint torques by moving it laterally 10mm in both directions.

Results. The magnitude of the torso masses from T1-L5 increased inferiorly, with a 150% increase in mean segmental torso mass from 0.6kg at T1 to 1.5kg at L5. The magnitudes of the calculated coronal plane joint torques during relaxed standing were typically 5-7 Nm at the apex of the curve, with the highest apex joint torque of 7Nm being found in patient 13. Shifting the assumed IAR by 10mm towards the convexity of the spine, increased the joint torque at that level by a mean 9.0%, showing that calculated joint torques were moderately sensitive to the assumed IAR location. When the IAR midline position was moved 10mm away from the convexity of the spine, the joint torque reduced by a mean 8.9%.

Conclusion. Coronal plane joint torques as high as 7Nm can occur during relaxed standing in scoliosis patients, which may help to explain the mechanics of AIS progression. This study provides new anthropometric reference data on vertebral level-by-level torso mass in AIS patients which will be useful for biomechanical models of scoliosis progression and treatment. However, the CT scans were performed in supine (no gravitational load on spine) and curve magnitudes are known to be smaller than those measured in standing.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

35 since deposited on 19 Jun 2013
6 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 60852
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: segemtal torso masses, spine joint torques, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, scoliotic spine, instantaneous axis of rotation
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING (090300) > Biomechanical Engineering (090302)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Orthopaedics (110314)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Mathematical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 The authors.
Deposited On: 19 Jun 2013 21:38
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2013 11:56

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page