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Validation of spinal sagittal alignment with plain radiographs and the Debrunner Kyphometer

Journal article
Authors Carl Todd
Cecilia Agnvall
Peter Kovac
Anna Swärd
Christer Johansson
Leif Swärd
Jón Karlsson
Adad Baranto
Published in Medical research archives
Volume 2
Issue 1
ISSN 2375-1916
Publication year 2015
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Orthopaedics
Language en
Keywords Debrunner Kyphometer, kyphosis, lordosis, radiological, spinal sagittal alignment
Subject categories Orthopedics


Validation of the Debrunner Kyphometer as a clinical non-radiological method for investigating spinal sagittal alignment was compared with standing lateral radiographs. The sample group (n=102) consisted of elite Alpine skiers (n=75) and a non-athletic population (n=27), mean age 17.7 (±1.4) years. Non-radiological and radiological measurements of the spinal sagittal kyphosis and lordosis range of motion were carried out in the erect standing position. Thoracic kyphosis measurements comparing the Debrunner Kyphometer with a radiological standard, showed a good level of agreement and a statistical significance (ICC 0.67, 95% CI: 0.26 to 0.83, p<0.001). Lumbar lordosis measurements showed poor levels of agreement in spite of being statistically significant (ICC 0.33, 95% CI: 0.13 to 0.50, p=0.001). There was no significant difference reported in the spinal alignment between skiers and controls using both radiological and non-radiological methods. Therefore, we conclude that due to the large variation in ranges between both methods, there is a limited value in using the Debrunner Kyphometer as a non-invasive method for the evaluation of spinal sagittal alignment.

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