The relationship of thoracic kyphosis to gait performance and quality of life in women with osteoporosis

Osteoporos Int. 2015 Aug;26(8):2203-8. doi: 10.1007/s00198-015-3143-9. Epub 2015 May 21.


Thoracic kyphosis angle (TKA) increases with osteoporosis. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between magnitude of TKA and quality of life and gait performance in 34 osteoporotic women. Our results suggest that increasing TKA is significantly associated with decreasing quality of life (r = -0.48, p < 0.005) and gait performance (r = -0.74, p < 0.0005).

Introduction: Osteoporosis and its related effects are threatening health and quality of life especially in postmenopausal women. Increased thoracic kyphosis angle (TKA), as one of the most common adverse musculoskeletal changes, could be regarded as a quantitative index for osteoporotic patients' assessment. Dual digital inclinometer (DDI) is one of the latest tools for non-invasive TKA measurement. The main purpose of this study was to determine whether a relationship existed between the magnitude of TKA, gait performance, and quality of life in a group of osteoporotic women.

Methods: Thirty-four osteoporotic women, aged 50-68, participated in this descriptive analytic study. The magnitude of TKA measured by using DDI and expressed as the kyphosis index (KI). Quality of life and gait performance were assessed using short form 36 (SF36) questionnaire and functional gait assessment test, respectively. Back extension range of motion (ROM) and back extensor strength were also assessed. Pearson's correlation test was used to analyze the data, with the significance level of p < 0.05.

Results: The findings revealed a statistically significant negative correlation between KI and quality of life (r = -0.48, p < 0.005) and KI and gait performance (r = -0.74, p < 0.0005). There was also a significantly negative relation between KI and back extension ROM and back extensor strength (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: The results of this study demonstrated that increased thoracic kyphosis negatively affects gait performance and quality of life. This finding could be regarded as an important implication for therapist to pay more attention to the magnitude of thoracic kyphosis angle and its changes, when selecting appropriate therapeutic methods to improve gait performance and quality of life in osteoporosis women.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anthropometry / methods
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gait*
  • Humans
  • Kyphosis / etiology*
  • Kyphosis / physiopathology
  • Kyphosis / rehabilitation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / complications*
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / physiopathology
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / rehabilitation
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of Life*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / pathology*
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / physiopathology