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Classification of objective aesthetic parameters in idiopathic scoliosis


To use non-invasive surface instruments to define Objective Aesthetic Parameters and to obtain an Aesthetic Classification System in idiopathic Scoliosis.


Aesthetic correction is a main aim in scoliosis treatment as defined by SOSORT. Objectively defining aesthetic parameters is difficult; recently TRACE has been proposed as a possible option, being the standardization of the subjective medical expert evaluation. Objective measures are needed for an automatic classification of aesthetics in scoliosis and for other severe back deformities. A 3D reconstruction of the back surface delivers a set of objective parameters used as a basis for this aesthetic classification.


The Formetric measurement system reconstructs human back surfaces in semi-real time. From the acquiesced 3D data a set of objective anatomical and aesthetical parameters, one can automatically calculate:

  • shoulder rotation, slope angle and height difference

  • scapular symmetry

  • symmetry of flanks and waist triangles

  • rib humps and asymmetry in waist region

  • pelvic displacements

The above parameters form a basis from which classification indexes can be calculated and derived according to a specific set of expert rules.


Especially in severe cases it is possible to transfer the essentials of relative subjective classifications to objective measures and parameters. Vague and hard-to-catch impressions like "it doesn't look good" can to a certain degree be judged by neutral criteria: Shoulder and pelvis symmetry; angles, area- and height-differences of scapula; differences in waist triangles, etc.


The visual impression of aesthetics correlates closely to the objective parameters described above.

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Correspondence to H Diers.

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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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Diers, H., Mooshake, S., Heitmann, K. et al. Classification of objective aesthetic parameters in idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliosis 4 (Suppl 2), O17 (2009).

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