Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Babak Bazrgari


Abnormalities in lumbopelvic rhythm (LPR) play a role in occurrence/recurrence of low back pain (LBP). The LPR before spinal fusion surgery and its changes following the surgery are not understood. A repeated measure study was designed to investigate timing and magnitude aspects of LPR in a group of patients (n = 5) with LBP before and after a spinal fusion surgery. Participants completed a forward bending and backward return task at their preferred pace in the sagittal plane. The ranges of thoracic and pelvic rotations and lumbar flexion (as the magnitude aspects of LPR) as well as the mean absolute relative phase (MARP) and deviation phase (DP) between thoracic and pelvic rotations (as the timing aspects) were calculated. Thoracic, pelvic, and lumbar rotations/flexion were respectively 2.19° smaller, 17.69° larger, and 19.85° smaller after the surgery. Also, MARP and DP were smaller during both bending (MARP: 0.0159; DP 0.009) and return (MARP: 0.041; DP: 0.015) phases of the motion after surgery. The alterations in LPR after surgery can be the result of changes in lumbar spine structure due to vertebral fusion and/or new neuromuscular adaptations in response to the changes of lumbar spine structure. The effects of altered LPR on load sharing between passive and active components of lower back tissues and the resultant spinal loads should be further investigated in patients with spinal fusion surgery.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)