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Threshold values for supine and standing Cobb angles and rib hump measurements: prognostic factors for scoliosis

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Seven parameters recorded at the first clinical examination of 326 growing scoliotic patients were correlated with the speed of progression of the scoliotic curve during a natural history survey period. The parameters were: age; bone age (according to Greulich and Pyle); pubertal and Risser stage; curve shape; rib hump, measured in forward bending in a sitting patient and supine and standing radiographic Cobb angles of the scoliotic curve. The speed of progression of the scoliotic curve was expressed as the annual increase in Cobb angle. It was quantified graphically after plotting the measurements taken from all the radiographic examinations made during the survey. The survey period ranged from 6 months to several years, depending on the rate of progression. It was 6 months only if the scoliotic curve demonstrated worsening of more than 3° at two successive examinations performed at least 3 months apart. The authors aimed to identify the minimum values of curve angle and rib hump, identified at first examination in 95–100% of patients whose parameters at follow-up were above these values (supine angle: 17°; standing angle: 24°; rib hump: 11 mm), therefore demonstrating curve worsening. Then, they analysed how the other parameters such as age, bone age, state of maturation and curve shape influenced these threshold values of rib hump and supine and standing angles. The authors present the threshold values for the whole sample according to the sexual state of maturation and also for each curve shape. They demonstrate that a combination of states of maturation, several measures of the scoliotic curve and curve shape provides the best basis for individual prognosis.

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Duval-Beaupere, G. Threshold values for supine and standing Cobb angles and rib hump measurements: prognostic factors for scoliosis. Eur Spine J 5, 79–84 (1996).

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