Scoliosis assessment tools to reduce follow-up X-rays

Alexander T.D. Grünwald, Susmita Roy, Renée Lampe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Clinical examinations of scoliosis often includes X-rays. Regular clinical monitoring is recommended in particular at young age, because of the high risk of progression during periods of rapid growth. Supplementary methods free of ionizing radiation thus could help to reduce the potential risk of ionizing radiation related health problems. Methods: Twelve 3D scan images from female and male patients with different types and severities of spinal deformations were analysed using body scanner image analysis tools. The scan images were captured with a 3D body scanner, which used an infrared sensor and a video camera. To calculate and compare with the patient's specific spinal deformations, simulations based on finite elements methods were performed on biomechanical models of ribcage and spinal column. Results: The methods and parameters presented here are in good agreement with corresponding X-rays, used for comparison. High correlation coefficients of ‖ρs‖ ≥ 0.87 between Cobb angle and lateral deviation, as well as between Cobb angle and rotation of the vertebrae, indicate that the parameters could provide supplementary informations in the assessment of spinal deformations. So-called apex angles, in addition introduced to relate the results of the present method with Cobb angles, show strong correlations of ‖ρs‖ ≥ 0.68 and thus could be used for comparison in later follow-up examinations. Conclusion: The user-friendly 3D body scanner image analysis tools enable orthopaedic specialists to simulate, visualize and inspect patient's specific spinal deformations. The method is intended to provide supplementary information in complement to the Cobb angle for the assessment of spinal deformations in clinical daily routine and might have the potential to reduce X-rays in follow-up examinations. The Translational Potential of this article: The study presents a new method, based on 3D body scanner images and biomechanical modelling, that has the potential to reduce X-rays when monitoring scoliosis especially in young patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-22
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Translation
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Body scanner
  • Finite element method
  • Non-invasiv
  • Scoliosis


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