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A Modified Sagittal Spine Postural Classification and Its Relationship to Deformities and Spinal Mobility in a Chinese Osteoporotic Population
Published: Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Author: Hua-Jun Wang et al.

by Hua-Jun Wang, Hugo Giambini, Wen-Jun Zhang, Gan-Hu Ye, Chunfeng Zhao, Kai-Nan An, Yi-Kai Li, Wen-Rui Lan, Jian-You Li, Xue-Sheng Jiang, Qiu-Lan Zou, Xiao-Ying Zhang, Chao Chen


Abnormal posture and spinal mobility have been demonstrated to cause functional impairment in the quality of life, especially in the postmenopausal osteoporotic population. Most of the literature studies focus on either thoracic kyphosis or lumbar lordosis, but not on the change of the entire spinal alignment. Very few articles reported the spinal alignment of Chinese people. The purpose of this study was threefold: to classify the spinal curvature based on the classification system defined by Satoh consisting of the entire spine alignment; to identify the change of trunk mobility; and to relate spinal curvature to balance disorder in a Chinese population.

Methodology/Principal Findings

450 osteoporotic volunteers were recruited for this study. Spinal range of motion and global curvature were evaluated noninvasively using the Spinal-Mouse® system and sagittal postural deformities were characterized.


We found a new spine postural alignment consisting of an increased thoracic kyphosis and decreased lumbar lordosis which we classified as our modified round back. We did not find any of Satoh’s type 5 classification in our population. Type 2 sagittal alignment was the most common spinal deformity (38.44%). In standing, thoracic kyphosis angles in types 2 (58.34°) and 3 (58.03°) were the largest and lumbar lordosis angles in types 4 (13.95°) and 5 (-8.61°) were the smallest. The range of flexion (ROF) and range of flexion-extension (ROFE) of types 2 and 3 were usually greater than types 4 and 5, with type 1 being the largest.


The present study classified and compared for the first time the mobility, curvature and balance in a Chinese population based on the entire spine alignment and found types 4 and 5 to present the worst balance and mobility. This study included a new spine postural alignment classification that should be considered in future population studies.