Gravity-induced coronal plane joint moments 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. (2014) Gravity-induced coronal plane joint moments in the adolescent scoliotic spine. In 7th World Congress of Biomechanics, 7-11 July 2014, John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, Boston, MA.



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 estimated.


Existing low dose CT scans were used to calculate vertebral level-by-level torso masses and joint moments occurring in the spine for a group of female AIS patients with right-sided thoracic curves. Image processing software, ImageJ (v1.45 NIH USA) was used to reconstruct the torso segments and subsequently measure the 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 joint moments at each vertebral level were found by summing each of the torso segment masses above the required joint and multiplying it by the perpendicular distance to the centre of the disc.


Twenty patients were included in this study with a mean age of 15.0±2.7 years and a mean Cobb angle 52±5.9°. The mean total trunk mass, as a percentage of total body mass, was 27.8 (SD 0.5) %. Mean segmental torso mass increased inferiorly from 0.6kg at T1 to 1.5kg at L5. The coronal plane joint moments during relaxed standing were typically 5-7Nm at the apex of the curve (Figure 1), with the highest apex joint of 7Nm. CT scans were performed in the supine position and curve magnitudes are known to be 7-10° smaller than those measured in standing [1]. Therefore joint moments produced by gravity will be greater than those calculated here.


Coronal plane joint moments as high as 7Nm can occur during relaxed standing in scoliosis patients, which may help to explain the mechanics of AIS progression. The body mass distributions calculated in this study can be used to estimate joint moments derived using other imaging modalities such as MRI and subsequently determine if a relationship exists between joint moments and progressive vertebral deformity.

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ID Code: 74205
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: joint moments, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, segmental torso masses, gravitational loading, computed tomography
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 2014 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 21 Jul 2014 22:39
Last Modified: 07 May 2017 07:25

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