INTRODUCTION: The current study aimed to validate clinical values of anterior‐finger floor distance (FFD), lateral‐FFD and posterior‐FFD as measurement tools of trunk mobility in healthy volunteers and patients with lumbar disc herniation (LDH) or lumbar spinal canal stenosis (LSS).
METHODS: Twenty healthy adult volunteers and twenty‐one LDH, twenty‐eight LSS participated in this study. Mean age was 26 years in healthy volunteers, 55 years in LDH, and 66 years in LSS group. In anterior‐FFD measurement, the subjects were ordered to perform maximum flexion with upper limbs perpendicular to the floor.
Lateral‐FFD was measured in maximum lateral bending with neutral coronal plane. Posterior‐FFD was defined as FFD in combination of maximum extension and rotation with upper limbs.
Measurement reproducibility was validated in healthy population, and correlation between FFD and ROM of trunk motion in healthy population and patients with LDH or LSS.
RESULTS: High reproducibility was confirmed in anterior‐FFD (ICC=0.92), lateral‐FFD (ICC=0.86), and posterior‐FFD (ICC=0.83) in healthy volunteer group. There was significant correlation between anterior‐FFD and flexion ROM (r=0.69); lateral‐FFD and lateral bending ROM (Right, r=0.68; Left, r=0.81); posterior‐FFD and extension ROM (Right, r=0.87; Left, r=0.75); posterior‐FFD and trunk rotation ROM (Right, r=0.87; Left, r=0.86).
Anterior‐FFD and lateral‐FFD was larger in patients with LDH than those with LSS. Posterior‐FFD had no difference between LDH and LSS patient groups.
DISCUSSION: The current FFD measurement had high reproducibility in any directions. FFD also was correlated to trunk ROM in each motion. The current study demonstrated that anterior‐, lateral‐ and posterior‐FFD were valuable measurement tools of trunk mobility. Flexural and lateral bending mobility was decreased in patients with LDH than those with LSS. Extension and rotation mobility had no statistical difference between LDH and LSS.