Development of Pelvic Incidence and Lumbar Lordosis in Children and Adolescents

Jeannie F. Bailey, Sara Shefi, Michalle Soudack, Patricia A. Kramer, Ella Been*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pelvic incidence (PI) is a measure of the sagittal orientation of the sacrum relative to the acetabula and is not dependent on posture. In asymptomatic adults, PI correlates with lumbar lordosis. Lumbar lordosis is shown to increase with age following the onset of unassisted bipedal locomotion in children, but to what extent PI changes in relation to lumbar lordosis during skeletal maturation is unclear. The purpose of this study is to understand how PI, lumbar lordosis, and age are related in children and adolescents. PI, supine lumbar lordosis (SLL), and individual wedging angles of the lumbar vertebral bodies were measured on mid-sagittal reformatted images from 144 abdominal computed tomographic scans of individuals aged 2–20 years old, divided into three separate age categories representing pre-growth spurt (ages 2–9), growth spurt (10–15), and post-growth spurt (16–20). Our results showed that, while SLL significantly increased with age during development, PI did not. Despite the fact that PI hardly changed with age, the difference between PI and SLL decreased nonlinearly with age. SLL did not correlate with PI in the youngest age category, but positively correlated with PI in the middle and oldest age categories. The relationship between lumbar lordosis and PI, which is correlated in adults, was significant in our older age categories and not in our youngest age category. Our results indicate that PI in children and adolescents may have some predictive value for adult lumbar lordosis. Anat Rec, 302:2132–2139, 2019.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2132-2139
Number of pages8
JournalAnatomical Record
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Spinopelvic alignment
  • child development
  • pelvic incidence
  • supine lumbar lordosis


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