Objective: To investigate whether a common measure of sagittal pelvic torsion based on the superior iliac spines behave similarly to predictions of a rigid (non-torsioned) plane, when leg length discrepancies (LLD) are induced.
Method: Twenty-four young asymptomatic participants were subjected to pelvic posture measurements that use the anterior-superior iliac spines (ASISs) and posterior-superior iliac spines (PSISs) as references, while standing on level ground and with a one-, two- and three-centimeter lifts under the left foot. A special caliper with digital inclinometers was used. The following angles were measured: angles of the right and left PSIS-to-ASIS lines; right-left relative angle (RLRA), as the angle between the right and left PSIS-to-ASIS lines, which is a traditional lateral-view measure intended to detect sagittal torsions; angle of the inter-ASISs line; angle of the inter-PSISs line; anterior-posterior relative angle (APRA), as the angle between the inter-ASISs and inter-PSISs lines. According to trigonometric predictions based on the geometry given by the lines linking the superior iliac spines (i.e. a trapezoid plane), a pure lateral tilt of the pelvis, without interinnominate sagittal motion, would change RLRA in a specific direction and would not change APRA.
Results: Repeated-measures ANOVAs revealed that RLRA (p<0.001) and right and left PSIS-to-ASIS angles (p≤0.001) changed, and APRA did not change (p=0.33), as predicted.
Conclusions: At least part of the sagittal torsion detected by measures that assume the PSIS-to-ASIS angles as the sagittal angles of the innominates is due to pelvic geometry and not to the occurrence of actual torsion, when LLDs are induced.
Author keywords: torsion; measurement error; pelvis; leg length discrepancy
Author affiliations: Department of Physical Therapy, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
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