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01.02.2016 | Original Article | Ausgabe 2/2016

European Spine Journal 2/2016

The validity and reliability of “Spinal Mouse” assessment of spinal curvatures in the frontal plane in pediatric adolescent idiopathic thoraco-lumbar curves

European Spine Journal > Ausgabe 2/2016
Ayse Livanelioglu, Fatma Kaya, Vugar Nabiyev, Gokhan Demirkiran, Tüzün Fırat



Radiological measurement has been accepted as the gold standard for evaluating scoliosis for many years. However, exposure of children to X-ray constitutes a major limitation of the radiological methods. Spinal Mouse (SM) is a safe, practical and easy to perform measurement of curvature in scoliosis, but its validity and reliability have not been investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate the validity and reliability of Cobb angle and SM measurements in children with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).


Fifty-one patients with AIS who were followed up conservatively were included in the study. The mean age of the patients was 14.4 years (9–18 years). Frontal plane curvatures were evaluated with SM by 2 physiotherapists and the results were compared with radiological measurements. Radiological measurements were performed by 2 orthopedists.


All the measurements were of the thoraco-lumbar curve and the mean value was 35.08° according to Cobb angle measurement. There was no difference between the interobserver measurements of SM (p = 0.256) while the Cobb degrees measured by the 2 orthopedists was different (p = 0.0001). We did not find a statistically significant difference between Cobb measurements and the SM measurements of observer 1 and 2 (p = 0.505). The interobserver and intraobserver agreement of the Cobb and SM measurements was excellent (ICC = 0.872–0.962). When the differences between the evaluations were compared, the interobserver SM differences were seen to be lower than the interobserver Cobb angle differences (p = 0.003). The agreement between the Cobb and SM measurements was higher for curves over 40°. We found a strong or very strong relationship between measurements made with the Cobb and SM methods (p < 0.0001).


We conclude that SM can be used for research and patient follow-up in the clinic as a safe, reliable, quick, and easy to use method with no side effects although it cannot be the only factor to consider when determining the treatment plan of AIS patients.

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