The pathomechanism of spinal deformity development in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) has been related to the sagittal curvature of the spine. It is not known how the variations in the sagittal profile relates to the coronal deformity patterns in AIS. A total of 70 Lenke 1 and 50 Lenke 5 AIS patients were included retrospectively. A finite element (FE) model was developed for each spine where the sagittal spinal curvatures were modeled as 2D S shaped elastic rods. Transverse plane deformation patterns of these rods under physiological loading were determined and clustered based on their similarities. The patients’ characteristics, including the Lenke type, and the spinal measurements in these deformation pattern clusters were statistically compared. Three different axial deformation patterns were determined from the FE simulations of the 120 sagittal curves. Two axial groups were looped shaped in opposing directions (Group I and III) and one was lemniscate shaped (Group II). 94% of the patients in Groups I and II were Lenke 1 and 100% of Group III was Lenke 5. The position of the sagittal inflection point moved downward from Group I-III resulting in significantly different ratio of the arc lengths above and below the sagittal inflection points for Groups I, II and III (0.49±0.59, 1.15±0.44, and 3.22±1.8). A classification of idiopathic scoliosis, based on the biomechanics of S-shaped flexible rods deformation could distinguish between different coronal curve types. The geometrical parameters of the sagittal profiles in the axial deformation pattern groups were significantly different.
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