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The Cobb angle was originally used to measure coronal plane deformity on antero-posterior plain radiographs in the classification of scoliosis[1]. It has subsequently been adapted to classify sagittal plane deformity, especially in the setting of traumatic thoracolumbar spine fractures.

In the setting of spine trauma and assessing sagittal plane deformity, the Cobb angle is defined as the angle formed between a line drawn parallel to the superior endplate of one vertebra above the fracture and a line drawn parallel to the inferior endplate of the vertebra one level below the fracture.

The Cobb angle is the preferred method of measuring post-traumatic kyphosis in a recent meta-analysis of traumatic spine fracture classifications[2]

FootnotesEdit

  1. Cobb JR. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Instructional Course Lectures. Vol. 5. Ann Arbor, MI: Edwards; 1948.
  2. Keynan O, Fisher CG, Vaccaro A, Fehlings MG, Oner FC, Dietz J, Kwon B, Rampersaud R, Bono C, France J, Dvorak M. Radiographic Measurement Parameters in Thoracolumbar Fractures: A Systematic Review and Consensus Statement of the Spine Trauma Study Group. Spine. Volume 31(5), 1 March 2006, pp E156-E165
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