Association of spinal deformity and pelvic tilt with gait asymmetry in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients: Investigation of ground reaction force

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Abstract

Background

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is a prevalent orthopedic problem in children ages 10 to 16 years. Although genetic, physiological and biomechanical factors are considered to contribute to the onset and progression of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, the underlying mechanisms are not yet clear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between spinal deformity and inter-leg ground reaction force asymmetry during walking in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients.

Methods

Fourteen patients (3 males and 11 females) participated in this study. Maximum Cobb's angle, adjusted Cobb's angle, and pelvic tilt were calculated from X-ray images. Asymmetry indices between legs were also calculated from ground reaction force magnitude and time variables from their preferred speed walking. Pearson coefficients of correlation were used to investigate associations of asymmetry indices with angle variables.

Findings

Asymmetry indices of ground reaction force magnitudes positively correlated with adjusted Cobb's angle and maximum Cobb's angle mainly during the peak of braking phase, average of braking phase, while asymmetry indices of ground reaction force time variables showed no significant correlation with adjusted or maximum Cobb's angle. In contrast, asymmetry indices of ground reaction force time variables positively correlated with pelvic tilt during stance phase.

Interpretation

We concluded that the spinal deformity of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients estimated using the maximum and adjusted Cobb's angles is generally associated with greater asymmetry of ground reaction force magnitudes in walking, while the pelvic tilt is associated with the greater asymmetry of ground reaction force time variables.

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