Measurement Accuracy in Congenital Scoliosis
Fernando A.M. Facanha-Filho, MD; Robert B. Winter, MD; John E. Lonstein, MD; Steven Koop, MD; Thomas Novacheck, MD; E. A. L’Heureux, JrMD; Cheryl A. Noren, ART



The accuracy of measurement of curves in idiopathic scoliosis has been extensively studied; however, we know of only one article in the literature concerning the accuracy of measurement of curves in congenital scoliosis. That article stated that intraobserver variability was ± 9.6° and interobserver variability was ± 11.8°.


Sixty-nine curves in fifty patients with congenital scoliosis were measured on two separate occasions by seven different observers with varying experience in curve measurement.


Mean intraobserver variance ranged from 1.9° to 5.0°, with an average of 2.8° (95% confidence limit, ± 3°) for the seven observers. The interobserver variance was 3.35° (95% confidence limit, 7.86°).


It is possible to measure curves in congenital scoliosis with much greater accuracy than previously reported. In the clinical situation in which a skilled observer can measure two radiographs at the same time, an accuracy of ± 3° can be expected 95% of the time.


  • Investigation performed at Twin Cities Spine Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article. No funds were received in support of this study.

Enter your JBJS login information below.
Please note that your username is the email address you provided when you registered.

List of OpenAthens registered sites, including contact details.