Sagittal alignment has become a hot topic in the world of orthopedics, particularly as it pertains to adults with spine deformities and coexisting pain, activity limitations, and health-related quality of life. It is reported that the prevalence of spinal deformity in the older adult will continue to increase. Clinicians across disciplines recognize the myriad of variation that exists in sagittal alignment, and that there is not one ideal norm to ascribe to. Relatively new to the spine deformity community has been the discovery of the relationship between the pelvis and the femur (pelvic incidence) in dictating lumbar lordosis and overall spinal alignment. While it is acknowledged that variation exists, there is now evidence that there is a limited range within which we can compensate for loss of sagittal alignment and still function well. When compensations run out, the quality of life becomes affected. These alignment variations, compensations, and in some cases, loss of alignment all together have clinical implications for the physiotherapist working with the older adult population. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the current state of evidence-informed knowledge around spinopelvic parameters as they relate to the adult with spine deformity and offer clinical implications for the conservative care practitioner.
Part of the book: Innovations in Spinal Deformities and Postural Disorders