Measurements in Spine Care

Measurement in spine careBy

  • Jens R Chapman,  MD, Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, 325 Ninth Avenue, ZA-48, Seattle, WA 98104-2499, USA
  • Michael J Lee, MD, Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
  • Jeffrey T Hermsmeyer, BSc, Project Manager, Spectrum Research, Inc., 705 S 9th Street, Suite 203, Tacoma, WA 98405, USA
  • Joseph R Dettori,  PhD, MPH, Spectrum Research, Inc., 705 S 9th Street, Suite 203, Tacoma, WA 98405, USA
  • Daniel C Norvell,  PhD, Spectrum Research, Inc., 705 S 9th Street, Suite 203, Tacoma, WA 98405, USA

In the course of evaluating the patient with spinal disease, a myriad of measurements need to be performed before determining the diagnosis and the severity of the disease process. This text explicitly outlines the measurement of the spine from a clinical, laboratory, and radiographic approach. A detailed description of the actual technique of measurement and the clinical implication are presented with accompanying illustrations. This amalgamation of measurement tools for the spine is a beneficial reference for a wide spectrum of healthcare providers: students, nurses, residents, fellows, and established surgeons.

In addition to its detailed illustrated presentation, each measurement technique has been graded for scientific and clinical utility with a score that specifically grades:

  • Interobserver reliability
  • Intraobserver reliability 
  • Universality
  • Disease specificity
  • Ease of application
  • Simplicity
  • Patient tolerability
  • Expense 

The detail presented in this text will not only serve as a reference, but will also allow the reader to accurately reproduce measurement techniques, thus enhancing inter-physician communication, research of the spine, and improvement of patient care.

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