Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery

, Volume 108, Issue 3, pp 173–175 | Cite as

Leg-length inequality has poor correlation with lumbar scoliosis

A radiological study of 100 patients with chronic low-back pain
  • V. Hoikka
  • M. Ylikoski
  • K. Tallroth
Clinical and Experimental Forum


Leg-length inequality and its hypothetical consequences, pelvic tilt and lumbar scoliosis, were measured in 100 young or middle-aged adults suffering from chronic low-back pain. Leg-length inequality had a good correlation with the pelvic tilt assessed from the iliac crests, a moderate correlation with the sacral tilt, but a poor correlation with the lumbar scoliosis. The sacral tilt correlated well with the lumbar scoliosis when the tilt was more than 3° but poorly when it was smaller. Thus, there is a gradually decreasing correlation between the posture parameters when moving from the hips up to the lumbar spine. We conclude that before a radiologically observed leg-length inequality be considered as the cause of low-back pain, an erect-posture radiograph of the whole pelvis and lumbar spine is essential, in order to assess an existing pelvic tilt and scoliosis.


Public Health Lumbar Spine Crest Iliac Crest Moderate Correlation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Hoikka
    • 1
  • M. Ylikoski
    • 2
  • K. Tallroth
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Clinical OrthopedicsOrthopedic Hospital of the Invalid FoundationHelsinki 28Finland
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyOrthopedic Hospital of the Invalid FoundationHelsinki 28Finland

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