Profiles of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral spine in children and adolescents with lumbosacral spondylolisthesis

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12 Scopus citations


The sagittal and frontal profiles of the entire spine are poorly studied in lumbosacral spondylolisthesis. It was the purpose of this study to further investigate these profiles. Standing posterior-anterior and lateral radiographs in 24 children with lumbosacral spondylolisthesis were reviewed (18 isthmic, 6 congenital). Cervical lordosis, lumbar lordosis, thoracic kyphosis, sagittal vertebral axis, sacral inclination, slip magnitude, slip angle, and sagittal rotation were measured. Cobb magnitude, Risser sign, curve location, and direction were noted for those with scoliosis. Relationships between sagittal variables were explored (Pearson correlation). The average age of patients was 14.7 ± 2.5 years, slip magnitude was 38 ± 38%, slip angle was 5 ± 31°, sagittal rotation was -6 ± 31°, thoracic kyphosis was 29 ± 16°, cervical lordosis was -1 ± 12°, and lumbar lordosis was 62 ± 22°. Correlations were noted between thoracic kyphosis and sacral inclination, percent slip, slip angle, and sagittal rotation. Sacral inclination decreased as the slip increased. Scoliosis was present in 10 children, with an average curve of 19 ± 6°. Thoracic kyphosis was less in those with scoliosis (21 ± 25° versus 33 ± 25°, p = 0.033). In children with lumbosacral spondylolisthesis, the sacrum becomes more vertical as the slip worsens. As the sacrum becomes more vertical, the thoracic spine becomes more lordotic, which is likely an adaptive mechanism used by the body to maintain forward visual gaze.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-471
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Spinal Disorders
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 22 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical lordosis
  • Lumbosacral spondylolisthesis
  • Sacral inclination
  • Scoliosis
  • Slip magnitude
  • Thoracic kyphosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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