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The geometry of the spine in the sagittal profile: a comparison of girls with and without scoliosis


Using the Formetric® system, we observed a high incidence of abnormal sagittal configurations in both scoliotic and non scoliotic patients. Those abnormal configurations could be described by using terms like Hyper- or Hypo- but not all of them. Changes in the location of the thoracic apex, lordotic apex, transitional point as well as segmental rectifications of the profile were observed with the formetric. This data is used to define a specific scale and to measure harmony of the spine (HDSS). This new, simplified scale is clinically valid and is reliable. The HDSS ranges from 0 (harmonic) to 16 (disharmonic).


The purpose of the study is to compare the sagittal configuration of scoliotic patients and normal subjects.

Materials and methods

We have studied the sagittal profile with the Formetric® system in 157 consecutive girls with non-treated IS and 39 age matched non scoliotic girls (NIS).


The HDSS showed no differences in both groups (IS = 5.6; NIS = 5.4). The angle of the regional kyphosis was no different in scoliotic (43.1°) and non scoliotic (43.7°) girls. The angle of the regional lordosis was significantly lower in scoliotic girls (34.9°) compared with non scoliotic (35.4°). Harmonic/disharmonic features are similar for both scoliotic and non scoliotic girls.


The sagittal geometry of the spine is highly variable in both scoliotic and non scoliotic girls. The angle of thoracic kyphosis is not different between the groups. Lordosis is slightly lower in the scoliotic group.


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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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Rigo, M., Villagrasa, M. & Quera-Salvá, G. The geometry of the spine in the sagittal profile: a comparison of girls with and without scoliosis. Scoliosis 4 (Suppl 1), O51 (2009).

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