Skip to main content

The rasterstereographic–dynamic analysis of posture in adolescents using a modified Matthiass test


The Matthiass posture test is a clinical test to detect posture changes in children and adolescents. Aim of this study was to objectify this test using a dynamic rasterstereographic measuring device. We examined 31 healthy athletes during a modified Matthiass test with a dynamic rasterstereographic measuring system. Hereby the trunk inclination, kyphosis and lordosis angle were measured. The trunk inclination decreased by about 50% of the basic value just by raising the arms. Additional weight loads of only 5% body weight (bw) resulted in significant changes of the posture (lordosis and kyphosis angle) during this test. With this rasterstereographic measuring device it seems to be possible to determine spinal posture changes under dynamic conditions. The results suggest that additional weights of 5% bw during the Matthias-test are enough to create significant deviations in posture parameters, even in healthy subjects.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3


  1. 1.

    Chodick G, Ronckers CM, Shalev V, Ron E (2007) Excess lifetime cancer mortality risk attributable to radiation exposure from computed tomography examinations in children. Isr Med Assoc J 9:584–587

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Drerup B, Hierholzer E (1992) Evaluation of frontal radiographs of scoliotic spines—part II. Relations between lateral deviation, lateral tilt and axial rotation of vertebrae. J Biomech 25:1443–1450

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Drerup B, Hierholzer E (1992) Evaluation of frontal radiographs of scoliotic spines—part I. Measurement of position and orientation of vertebrae and assessment of clinical shape parameters. J Biomech 25:1357–1362

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Drerup B, Hierholzer E (1996) Assessment of scoliotic deformity from back shape asymmetry using an improved mathematical model. Clin Biomech 11:376–383

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Drerup B, Ellger B, Meyer zu Bentrup FM, Hierholzer E (2001) Functional rasterstereographic images: a new method for biomechanical analysis of skeletal geometry. Orthopade 30:242–250

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Frobin W, Hierholzer E (1982) Analysis of human back shape using surface curvatures. J Biomech 15:379–390

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Groeneveld HB (1976) Metric detection and definition of back shape and posture of the human. Hippokrates Verlag, Stuttgart

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Hackenberg L, Liljenqvist U, Hierholzer E, Halm H (2000) Scanning stereographic surface measurement in idiopathic scoliosis after VDS (ventral derotation spondylodesis). Z Orthop Ihre Grenzgeb 138:353–359

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Hierholzer E, Hackenberg L (2002) Three-dimensional shape analysis of the scoliotic spine using MR tomography and rasterstereography. Stud Health Technol Inform 91:184–189

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Huysmans T, Haex B, Van Audekercke R, Vander Sloten J, Van der Perre G (2004) Three-dimensional mathematical reconstruction of the spinal shape, based on active contours. J Biomech 37:1793–1798

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Huysmans T, Van Audekercke R, Vander Sloten J, Bruyninckx H, Van der Perre G (2005) A three-dimensional active shape model for the detection of anatomical landmarks on the back surface. Proc Inst Mech Eng H 219:129–142

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Junghans H (1986) The spine under the influences of daily life, of leisure time, of sports. Hippokrates, Stuttgart

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Klee A (1995) Predictive value of Matthiass’ arm-raising test. Z Orthop Ihre Grenzgeb 133:207–213

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Levy AR, Goldberg MS, Hanley JA, Mayo NE, Poitras B (1994) Projecting the lifetime risk of cancer from exposure to diagnostic ionizing radiation for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Health Phys 66:621–633

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Liljenqvist U, Halm H, Hierholzer E, Drerup B, Weiland M (1998) 3-dimensional surface measurement of spinal deformities with video rasterstereography. Z Orthop Ihre Grenzgeb 136:57–64

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Mahlknecht JF (2007) The prevalence of postural disorders in children and adolescents: a cross sectional study. Z Orthop Unfall 145:338–342

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Matthiass H (1961) Measuring methods of the spine in the diagnostic of spine diseases. Gustav Fischer, Stuttgart, Jena, New York

    Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Matthiass H (1966) Maturation, growth and disturbances of growth of the posture and the musculoskeletal system of adolescents. Karger, Basel

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Morin Doody M, Lonstein JE, Stovall M, Hacker DG, Luckyanov N, Land CE (2000) Breast cancer mortality after diagnostic radiography: findings from the U.S. Scoliosis Cohort Study. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 25:2052–2063

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Quinlan JF, Mullett H, Stapleton R, FitzPatrick D, McCormack D (2006) The use of the Zebris motion analysis system for measuring cervical spine movements in vivo. Proc Inst Mech Eng H 220:889–896

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Salminen JJ, Erkintalo M, Laine M, Pentti J (1995) Low back pain in the young. A prospective three-year follow-up study of subjects with and without low back pain. Spine 20:2101–2107

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Schulte TL, Liljenqvist U, Hierholzer E, Bullmann V, Halm HF, Lauber S, Hackenberg L (2006) Spontaneous correction and derotation of secondary curves after selective anterior fusion of idiopathic scoliosis. Spine 31:315–321

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Schulte TL, Hierholzer E, Boerke A, Lerner T, Liljenqvist U, Bullmann V, Hackenberg L (2008) Raster stereography versus radiography in the long-term follow-up of idiopathic scoliosis. J Spinal Disord Tech 21:23–28

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Windolf M, Gotzen N, Morlock M (2008) Systematic accuracy and precision analysis of video motion capturing systems–exemplified on the Vicon-460 system. J Biomech 41:2776–2780

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references


This study was supported by operating grants from EU Craft Project 4D Body Scan Project No 1999-71038.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michael Wild.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Betsch, M., Wild, M., Jungbluth, P. et al. The rasterstereographic–dynamic analysis of posture in adolescents using a modified Matthiass test. Eur Spine J 19, 1735–1739 (2010).

Download citation


  • Spine
  • Posture
  • Rasterstereography
  • Dynamic examination
  • Matthiass test