Researchers identify accurate measurements of lumbar lordosis and compare them to previously existing standards in the literature.

Purpose of the Study 

It is hard to compare the standard measurements of lordosis because there are different ways to measure it. Studies of normal subjects do not always have a complete medical history, physical, neurological, and orthopedic examinations, or are observed objectively (values are often self-reported). 

How it Was Conducted 

Researchers took x-rays of the spines of 50 healthy people. They wanted to see how much curve is normal in the low back in a standing position, and to find a way to compare all the measurements that currently exist in the literature. Radiographs, or x-rays, of the 50 subjects' spines were analyzed to determine the curvature of the spine, how different segments contribute to that curvature, and how well aligned the spine is vertically. 


Using posterior body tangents, the mean L1-L5 angle was -39.7 degrees, CobbT12-S1 = -65 degrees, Ferguson's sacral angle = 39 degrees, pelvic tilt angle was 49 degrees, and average RRAs (segmental angles) were RRAT12-L1 = -3.6 degrees, RRAL1-L2 = -4.1 degrees, RRAL2-L3 = -7.6 degrees, RRAL3-L4 = -11.7 degrees, RRAL4-L5 = -16.8 degrees, and RRAL5-S1 = -32.4 degrees. 

Using segmental rotation angles as a method to compare past and current literature, a normal standing lumbar lordosis of CobbT12-S1 = -61 degrees, range -55 degrees to -65 degrees, was determined with specific segmental angles. 

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