Assessment of non-invasive intervertebral motion measurements in the lumbar spine

Kristin Zhao, Chao Yang, Chunfeng Zhao, Kai Nan An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


This study compared the accuracy of new, FDA-approved, image-analysis software to conventional radiographic assessment techniques for the measurement of intervertebral motion. Six adult human cadaveric lumbar spines (L1-S1) were individually mounted in a custom Plexiglas device and electromagnetic sensors were rigidly mounted to the spinous processes of L3, L4, and L5. Lateral radiographs of the spines in neutral, full flexion, and full extension were digitized and analyzed both using the software and manually by three orthopedic surgeons. Compared to intervertebral rotations determined from the electromagnetic device, the errors in rotations reported by the software and surgeons were 0.47±0.24° and 2.16±0.78°, respectively. Rotations measured by the surgeons were significantly less accurate and more variable than that of the software (p<0.05).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1943-1946
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Image-processing
  • Intervertebral motion
  • Kinematics
  • Lumbar spine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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