Purpose: We have always used the standard anatomical landmark vertebrae to measure the sagittal alignment. Instead, scoliosis has been evaluated by the end vertebrae in the coronal plane. There have been clinical studies to investigate sagittal alignment on the end vertebrae of inflection points (IPs). The purpose is to determine sagittal alignment based on IPs and to elucidate the changes while considering age groups. Methods: We identified the most titled vertebrae in the sagittal plane to define the end vertebrae of S1, thoracolumbar and cervicothoracic IPs and to measure the Cobb angles of sacral slope, functional lumbar, thoracic, cervical segment between them, and the McGregor’s line, and the IP distances from the C2 plumb line to the point bisecting the upper end plate of the IPs, in addition to S1. Results: The most common thoracolumbar and cervicothoracic IPs were L2 and T1, respectively. However, the next most common cervicothoracic IP changed from T2 in the youngest to C7 in the oldest age group. The sagittal angles decreased at the sacral slope and functional lumbar segment but not the functional thoracic segment and functional cervical segment. Similarly, the distance increased at the C2 sagittal vertical axis (SVA) distance to S1 and thoracolumbar IP distance but not at the cervicothoracic IP distance. There was no difference in the pelvic incidence among age groups. Conclusion: The sagittal Cobb angles based on the IPs decreased at the sacral slope and functional lumbar segment in the older adults. Consequently, the C2 SVA distance to S1 and thoracolumbar IP distance increased.
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© The Author(s) 2020.
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