Amer Sebaaly, Clément Silvestre, Maroun Rizkallah, Pierre Grobost, Thomas Chevillotte, Khalil Kharrat, Pierre Roussouly

May 2021, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 1184 - 1189 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-020-06670-7

First Online: 22 November 2020


Thoracic kyphosis (TK) remained in the shadow of lumbar lordosis. Based on Berthonnaud and Roussouly segmentation, TK is divided into two arches: upper TK (UTK) and lower TK (LTK). The purpose of this study is to propose a normative description of the TK arches in an asymptomatic adults’ population and their correlation with spinal and pelvic parameters.


This is an observational study performed on asymptomatic healthy Caucasians volunteers aged between 18 and 45 years. Each patient had a standardized standing biplanar full spine X-rays. Using KEOPS®, sacropelvic parameters and global spinal parameters (LL, TK) as well as the inflexion point location were measured. The upper lumbar lordosis angle (ULL) as well as LTK and UTK was calculated. Patients were classified according to Roussouly morphotypes of normal spine.


A total of 373 adults (F/M = 1.4/1) were enrolled with mean age of 27 years. Mean UTK averaged 25.8°, while mean LTK averaged 19.8° (p  0.05), while LTK values were variable among different Roussouly spine subtypes (p 


In asymptomatic young adults, thoracic kyphosis is composed by two unequal arches, a stable UTK and a variable LTK, with an apex around T8 and T9 vertebra, depending on the spinal morphotype according to Roussouly classification. This should be taken into consideration when analyzing spine sagittal compensation and preparing corrections to minimize risk of mechanical complications.

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