What is the King Moe classification

The King-Moe classification (Fig. 39-3) of thoracic curve patterns in idiopathic scoliosis distinguishes five curve types as a guide to surgical treatment:

• Type 1: S-shaped curve in which both the thoracic and lumbar curves cross the midline. Both curves are structural, and the lumbar curve may be larger or less flexible than the thoracic curve

• Type 2: S-shaped curve in which the thoracic curve is larger or less flexible than the lumbar curve (also called a "false" double major curve)

• Type 3: Single thoracic curve without a structural lumbar curve

• Type 4: Long thoracic curve in which L5 is centered over the sacrum and L4 is tilted into the thoracic curve

• Type 5: Double thoracic curve with T1 tilted into the convexity of the upper curve

The King classification does not address lumbar curves, thoracolumbar curves, or triple major curves. It does not evaluate sagittal plane alignment. It was developed to guide surgical treatment in the era of Harrington instrumentation.

Figure 39-3. Five types of idiopathic scoliosis as defined by King, Moe, Bradford, and Winter. (From Roach JW. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Orthop Clin North Am 1999;30:353-65.)

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