Kenney Ki-Lee Lau, Kenny Yat-Hong Kwan, Jason Pui-Yin Cheung, Wang Chow, Karlen Ka-Pui Law, Arnold Yu-Lok Wong, Daniel Hung-Kay Chow, Kenneth Man-Chee Cheung

August 2022, pp 1 - 7 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-022-07338-0

First Online: 03 August 2022


Although it is evident that some patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) have proprioceptive deficit in peripheral joints, knowledge on the proprioceptive function of the deformed spine is limited. Nonetheless, spinal proprioception in AIS may be affected three-dimensionally, prior studies only focussed on evaluating peripheral proprioception in single plane. Therefore, this study aimed to develop a novel spinal proprioception assessment using three-dimensional motion analysis in patients with AIS.


Participants were included if they had a primary diagnosis of AIS who did not receive or failed conservative treatments. Three trunk repositioning tests involving flexion-extension, lateral-flexion, and axial-rotation were conducted. A three-dimensional kinematics of the trunk was used as the outcome measures. The proprioceptive acuity was quantified by the repositioning error. The intra-examiner and test-retest reliability were analysed by the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).


Fifty-nine patients with AIS were recruited. Regarding the trunk flexion–extension test, the single measure ICC showed moderate reliability (0.46) and the average measures ICC demonstrated good reliability (0.72). As for the trunk lateral-flexion test, the reliability of single measure and average measures ICC was moderate (0.44) and good (0.70) reliability, respectively. For the trunk axial-rotation test, the single measure ICC indicated fair reliability (0.32), while the average measures ICC showed moderate reliability (0.59).


This is the first study to evaluate the reliability of novel three-dimensional spinal proprioception assessments in patients with AIS. The trunk flexion-extension repositioning test may be preferable clinical test given its highest reliability.

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