Mun Keong Kwan, Kai Ann Wong, Chee Kean Lee, Chris Yin Wei Chan

January 2016, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 401 - 408 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-015-4016-9

First Online: 12 May 2015


To introduce a new clinical neck tilt grading and to investigate clinically and radiologically whether neck tilt and shoulder imbalance is the same phenomenon in AIS patients.


89 AIS Lenke 1 and 2 cases were assessed prospectively using the new clinical neck tilt grading. Shoulder imbalance and neck tilt were correlated with coracoid height difference (CHD), clavicle\rib intersection distance (CRID), clavicle angle (CA), radiographic shoulder height (RSH), T1 tilt and cervical axis.


Mean age was 17.2 ± 3.8 years old. 66.3 % were Lenke type 1 and 33.7 % were type 2 curves. Strong intraobserver (0.79) and interobserver (0.75) agreement of the clinical neck tilt grading was noted. No significant correlation was observed between clinical neck tilt and shoulder imbalance (0.936). 56.3 % of grade 3 neck tilt, 50.0 % grade 2 neck tilt patients had grade 0 shoulder imbalance. In patients with grade 2 shoulder imbalance, 42.9 % had grade 0, 35.7 % grade 1, 14.3 % grade 2 and only 7.1 % had grade 3 neck tilt. CHD, CRID, CA and RSH correlated with shoulder imbalance. T1 tilt and cervical axis measurements correlated with neck tilt.


In conclusion, neck tilt is distinct from shoulder imbalance. Clinical neck tilt has poor correlation with clinical shoulder imbalance. Clinical neck tilt grading correlated with cervical axis and T1 tilt whereas clinical shoulder grading correlated with CHD, RSH CRID and CA.

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