Tridimensional Analysis of Rotatory Subluxation and Sagittal Spinopelvic Alignment in the Setting of Adult Spinal Deformity

Spine Deform. 2017 Jul;5(4):255-264. doi: 10.1016/j.jspd.2017.01.003.


Study design: Retrospective single-center.

Objective: To investigate rotatory subluxation (RS) in adult spinal deformity (ASD) with three-dimensional (3D) stereoradiographic images and analyze relationships between RS, transverse plane parameters, spinopelvic parameters, and clinical outcomes.

Background: Recent research has demonstrated that sagittal plane malalignment and listhesis correlate with ASD patient-reported outcomes. However, there is still a lack of knowledge regarding the clinical impact of 3D evaluation and rotatory subluxation. Recent developments in stereoradiography allow clinicians to obtain full-body standing radiographs with low-dose radiation and 3D reconstruction.

Methods: One hundred thirty lumbar ASD patients underwent full-spine biplanar radiographs (EOS Imaging, Paris, France). Clinical outcomes were recorded. Using sterEOS software, spinopelvic parameters and lateral listhesis were measured. 3D transverse plane parameters included apical axial vertebral rotation, axial intervertebral rotation (AIR), and torsion index (sum of AIR in the curve). ASD patients were divided in three groups: AIR <5°, 5°< AIR <10°, AIR >10°. Groups were compared with respect to radiographic and clinical data. Correlations were performed between the transverse and sagittal plane parameters and clinical outcomes.

Results: Patients with AIR >10° were significantly older, with larger Cobb angle (39.5°) and greater sagittal plane deformity (pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis mismatch 11.7° and pelvic tilt 22.6°). The AIR >10° group had significantly greater apical vertebra axial rotation apex (24.8°), torsion index (45°), and upper-level AIR (21.5°) than the two other groups. Overall, 27% of AIR patients did not have two-dimensional (2D) lateral listhesis. Patients with AIR >10° had significantly worse Oswestry Disability Index and more low back pain.

Conclusion: For patients in which lateral listhesis was unreadable in 2D imaging, rotatory subluxation was revealed using stereoradiography and at an earlier disease stage. Moreover, different 3D transverse plane parameters are related to different patient-reported outcomes. Therefore, axial rotation can be considered in evaluation of lumbar degenerative scoliosis severity and prognosis.

Level of evidence: Level III.

Keywords: 3D analysis; Adult spinal deformity; Lumbar scoliosis; Rotatory subluxation; Transverse plane.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Congenital Abnormalities
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Joint Dislocations / diagnostic imaging*
  • Low Back Pain / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvis / abnormalities
  • Pelvis / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiostereometric Analysis / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rotation
  • Scoliosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Spine / abnormalities
  • Spine / diagnostic imaging*
  • Treatment Outcome