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Cobb angle

File:Scoliosis cobb.gif
Cobb angle measurement of a levoscoliosis

The Cobb angle, named after the American orthopedic surgeon John Robert Cobb (1903–1967), was originally used to measure coronal plane deformity on antero-posterior plane 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]


  1. ^ Cobb JR. Outline for the study of scoliosis. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Instructional Course Lectures. Vol. 5. Ann Arbor, MI: Edwards; 1948.
  2. ^ Keynan, Ory; Fisher, CG; Vaccaro, A; Fehlings, MG; Oner, FC; Dietz, J; Kwon, B; Rampersaud, R; Bono, C; France, J; Dvorak, M (Mar 1, 2006). "Radiographic measurement parameters in thoracolumbar fractures: a systematic review and consensus statement of the spine trauma study group." (PDF). Spine 31 (5): E156–65. PMID 16508540. doi:10.1097/01.brs.0000201261.94907.0d. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 

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