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Basic Science Studies | Overview

Prediction of chest growth from pelvic width

Early onset of spinal deformity can be associated with late pulmonary insufficiency and diminished trunk height (thoracic insufficiency syndrome). However, evaluation of anatomic outcomes in this group of patients is in part hindered by the inability to measure the effect of treatment on predicted thoracic and spine dimensions.

An internal, individualized standard for chest and spine dimensions would provide a basis of evaluation of spine and thoracic treatment outcomes in patients not following the usual patterns of growth and development.

Investigators in the Spinal Program aim to determine predictors of normal chest and thoracic spine dimensions that are patient-specific for comparison in patients with severe chest and spine abnormalities at any age, size or stage of growth.

Relationship between thoracic cage and spine deformity in rabbits with experimental scoliosis

Is the growth of the thoracic spine and rib cage directly related? Does a disturbance of one induce a deformity in the other?

By investigating the relationship between growth of the spine and thorax under settings that create symmetrical or asymmetrical growth disturbances of the spine or rib cage in a growing rabbit, researchers in the Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory have concluded that a unilateral deformity of the spine or rib cage induces both a scoliosis and thoracic cage deformity with asymmetric lung growth.

The deformity induced by unilateral tethered ribs is much greater than the deformity induced by unilateral tethered spine. The rip provides a longer moment arm than the transverse process so that tethered ribs create a larger deforming moment on the spine.