Muscle spindles in the paraspinal musculature of patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

D. M. Ford, K. M. Bagnall, C. A. Clements, K. D. McFadden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Electromyographic studies have determined that muscle imbalance and asymmetry of stretch receptors in the paraspinal muscle of patients with idiopathic scoliosis may have a large role to play in the development and production of the deformity. This project consisted of a detailed histologic and hlstochemlcal analysis of the distribution of muscle spindles In paraspinal musculature of patients suffering from idiopathic scoliosis, using the reduced form of nicotinamlde-adenine dinucleotide (NADH), adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase), and Trl- chrome stain techniques. Muscle biopsy samples were taken at operation for spinal instrumentation from each of 13 patients (mean age: 16.2 years; 3 males, 10 females) with all but one female exhibiting right thoracic curves. The samples were collected from two specific sites (superficial and deep) on both sides of the vertebral column at the level of the apex of the primary curve and two vertebral levels above and below the apex. From the results there appear to be few muscle spindles in the scoliotic muscle of this region. All of the patients from whom muscle samples were taken possessed at least one sample with a muscle spindle. However, each patient had very few samples which contained a minimum of one muscle spindle (mean: 20.3%; SD: 12.6). It is clear that further examination is necessary, particularly In the area of comparison with ‘normal’ standards when these standards become available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-465
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Idiopathic scoliosis
  • Muscle spindles
  • Paraspinal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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