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A method for investigation of spinal kinematics in children with idiopathic scoliosis


The present motion capture systems utilizing surface markers are not ideal. It is difficult to calculate the location of the particular vertebrae. To better study scoliosis, a noninvasive, tool is needed which can study spine kinematics during exercise.


To develop and to evaluate the reliability of a novel algorithm (model). The goal is to utilize this algorithm while investigating the kinematics of idiopathic scoliosis with use of a motion capture system.


The developed model uses surface markers to determine positions and orientations of the head, C7 vertebra and the sacrum. Next, Bézier curves and the radiological data (scoliosis size and location) are configured to connect the segments (head, C7 and sacrum) and to create a model of the whole spine.

Dynamic trials were performed in order to verify the algorithm. The spine kinematics of 8 juveniles suffering from idiopathic scoliosis were investigated during gait, lateral bending and twisting. Additional markers were placed on the skin over a few vertebrae in order to compare their physical locations with calculated locations.


High repeatability of peak scoliosis angles and moments of its occurrences during gait cycles were observed.

Even when performing complicated tasks (lateral bending or twisting), calculated position of vertebrae where in good agreement with surface markers indicating their localization.


The developed model has a potential to evaluate complex kinematics of a spine. However, to introduce this method in scoliosis management further improvements and investigations are necessary.


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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Maciejasz, P., Chwała, W., Białek, M. et al. A method for investigation of spinal kinematics in children with idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliosis 4 (Suppl 1), O21 (2009).

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