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Demonstration of vertebral and disc mechanical torsion in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis using three-dimensional MR imaging

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Daniel Birchall, David Hughes, Dr Barbara Gregson


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This study was designed to demonstrate and measure mechanical torsion in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis using three-dimensional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Ten patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis were imaged with three-dimensional MR imaging, and the data post-processed through multiplanar reconstruction to produce images angled through individual endplates. Transverse rotation was measured at each endplate and these measurements used to calculate the amount of vertebral and disc mechanical torsion present. A test object was imaged in order to validate the measurement technique. Mechanical torsion was demonstrated within the vertebral bodies and discs of the imaged subjects, with vertebral mechanical torsion contributing on average 45% of the overall transverse plane deformity. It is concluded that deformation occurs in the transverse plane within the vertebrae and discs of subjects with idiopathic scoliosis, and a significant proportion of the rotation present in the scoliotic spine occurs as a result of plastic deformation within the vertebrae themselves. We believe that this is the first systematic demonstration of mechanical torsion in idiopathic scoliosis.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Birchall D, Hughes D, Gregson B, Williamson B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Spine Journal

Year: 2005

Volume: 14

Issue: 2

Pages: 123-129

ISSN (print): 0940-6719

ISSN (electronic): 1432-0932

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00586-004-0705-5


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