Physical Activity, Exercise Physiology, Movement
ASSOCIATION OF SPINAL DEFORMITY AND PELVIC TILT WITH GAIT ASYMMETRY IN ADOLESCENT IDIOPATHIC SCOLIOSIS PATIENTS: GROUND REACTION FORCE INVESTIGATION
(School of Public Health (UMD) Kinesiology Doctoral Student)
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a prevalent orthopedic problem in children between 10 and 16 years of age. Gait asymmetry of ground reaction force (GRF) in AIS has been frequently investigated; however, previous studies have reported conflicting results. This study specifically investigated whether the asymmetry of the GRF magnitude and timing in AIS patients would be associated with spinal deformity and pelvic tilt. We hypothesized that (i) between-leg asymmetry of GRF magnitude variables would increase with spinal deformity, and (ii) asymmetry of GRF time variables would increase with pelvic tilt (PT). Nine adolescents (3 male and 6 female; ages = 15±1.24 years) with AIS participated. Frontal plane spinal radiographs were taken. The degree of spinal deformity was quantified using the maximum Cobb angle (MCA) and a new exploratory measure, the adjusted Cobb angle (ACA). The asymmetry of the pelvis was quantified with PT. The Asymmetry Index (AI) was used to calculate the gait asymmetry in GRF for the vertical and anterior-posterior directions between legs. Correlations between AIs and the spinal deformity measures were calculated by linear regression (α = 0.05). There were significant correlations between the AI of average vertical GRF over the stance phase with MCA and ACA, but not with PT. The GRF timing results indicated that there was an association between the asymmetry of stance phase contact time (Tstance) and PT, while there was no significant association of Tstance with ACA or MCA. Both the maximum and adjusted Cobb’s angles showed significant correlation coefficients with the asymmetry of GRF magnitude. In general, our study shows that the gait asymmetry of both magnitudes and time variables of GRF are associated with the severity of the spinal deformities and pelvic tilt.