Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate within- and between-day repeatability of free and unrestricted healthy cervical flexion and extension motion when assessing dynamic cervical spine motion.
Methods: Fluoroscopy videos of 2 repeated cervical flexion and 2 repeated extension motions were examined for within-day repeatability (20-second interval) for 18 participants (6 females) and between-day repeatability (1-week interval) for 15 participants (6 females). The dynamic cervical motions were free and unrestricted from neutral to end range. The flexion videos and extension videos were evenly divided into 10% epochs of the C0-to-C7 range of motion. Within-day and between-day repeatability of joint motion angles (all 7 joints and epochs, respectively) was tested in a repeated-measures analysis of variance. Joint motion angle differences between repetitions were calculated for each epoch and joint (7 joints), and these joint motion angle differences between within-day and between-day repetitions were tested in mixed-model analysis of variance.
Results: For all joints and epochs, respectively, no significant differences were found in joint motion angle between within-day or between-day repetitions. There were no significant effects of joint motion angle differences between within-day and between-day repetitions. The average within-day joint motion angle differences across all joints and epochs were 0.00° ± 2.98° and 0.00° ± 3.05° for flexion and extension, respectively. The average between-day joint motion angle differences were 0.02° ± 2.56° and 0.05° ± 2.40° for flexion and extension, respectively.
Conclusions: This is the first study to report the within-day and between-day joint motion angle differences of repeated cervical flexion and extension. This study supports the idea that cervical joints repeat their motion accurately.
Author keywords: Spine; Cervical Vertebrae; Range of Motion, Articular; Fluoroscopy
Author affiliations: XW, RL: Aalborg University. Faculty of Medicine. Department of Health and Science Technology (Denmark / Aalborg)
XW: Second Hospital of Jilin University. Department of Orthopedics (China / Changchun)
MP, LRØ: Aalborg University. Faculty of Medicine. Department of Health and Science Technology. Medical INformatics Group (Denmark / Aalborg)
TG-N: Aalborg University. Faculty of Medicine. Department of Health and Science Technology. Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain (Denmark / Aalborg)
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