Measurement accuracy in congenital scoliosis

F. A.M. Facanha-Filho, R. B. Winter, J. E. Lonstein, S. Koop, T. Novacheck, Jr L'Heureux, C. A. Noren

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64 Scopus citations


Background: The accuracy of measurement of curves in idiopathic scoliosis has been extensively studied; however, we know of only one article in the literature concerning the accuracy of measurement of curves in congenital scoliosis. That article stated that intraobserver variability was ±9.6° and interobserver variability was ±11.8°. Methods: Sixty-nine curves in fifty patients with congenital scoliosis were measured on two separate occasions by seven different observers with varying experience in curve measurement. Results: Mean intraobserver variance ranged from 1.9° to 5.0°, with an average of 2.8° (95% confidence limit, ±3°) for the seven observers. The interobserver variance was 3.35° (95% confidence limit, 7.86°). Conclusions: It is possible to measure curves in congenital scoliosis with much greater accuracy than previously reported. In the clinical situation in which a skilled observer can measure two radiographs at the same time, an accuracy of ±3° can be expected 95% of the time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-45
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - American Volume
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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