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Effect of Operative Position on Sagittal Alignment of the Lumbar Spine

Tan, S. B., MBBS, MMed, FRCS(Ed), FRCS(G)*; Kozak, Jeffrey A., MD*; Dickson, Jesse H., MD*; Nalty, Theresa J., BS

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A variety of techniques and frames are used for positioning patients during posterior lumbar spinal instrumentation and fusion. Little information is available on the relationship of lumbar lordosis and the various positioning options, so it was felt that further investigation was warranted. Ten volunteers with no history of back pain were positioned and radiographed in the standing position followed by four lateral radiographs with the patient positioned on chest rolls, Andrew's fram, the Hasting's frame, and a four-poster spinal frame. Total lumbar lordosis from L1 to S1 as well as intervertebral body angles at each of the lumbar interspaces using standardized techniques were computed. No significant difference was found in lumbar lordosis between the standing and chest roll position. However, there was approximately a 50% reduction in lumbar lordosis when using the Hasting's Andrw's and four-poster frame as compared to the standing and chest roll configuration. The clinical implications are discussed.

*Center for Spinal Disorders, Division of Orthopedic Surgery, †Division of Orthopedic Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.