METHODS: Flexion-extension radiographs were digitized with a scanner at a ratio of 1:1 and imported into a software, allowing segmental motion measurements. The measurements were obtained by selecting the most anteroinferior point and the most posteroinferior point of a vertebral body (anterior and posterior arch, respectively, for C1), with the origin of the reference frame set at the most posteroinferior point of the vertebral body below. The same procedure was performed for both the flexion and extension radiographs, and the coordinates of the 2 points were used to calculate the angular movement and the translation between the 2 vertebrae.
RESULTS: This method provides a measure of intervertebral angular and translational movement. It uses a different reference frame for each joint instead of the same reference frame for all joints and thus provides a measure of motion in the plane of each articulation. The calculated values obtained are comparable to other studies on intervertebral motion and support further development to validate the method.
CONCLUSION: The present study proposes a computerized procedure to evaluate intervertebral motion of the cervical spine. This procedure needs to be validated with a reliability study but could provide a valuable tool for doctors of chiropractic and further spinal research.
First author: Mathieu Piché
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