Torso Length

Definition Length from the top of the sternum to the top of the symphysis pubis.

Landmarks Measure from the manubrial notch to the superior border of the symphysis pubis, defined by palpation, in the midsagittal plane

Instruments Tape-measure.

Position The patient should be standing upright, at rest, with the back straight and the shoulders back. The infant should be lying supine with legs extended.

Alternative The patient may be supine, with legs extended.

Remarks Spinal deformities, such as kyphosis or scoliosis, will reduce the torso length.Values for torso length at birth are presented in Fig. 9.15.

Pitfalls The presence of sternal and vertebral anomalies should be disregarded in making this linear measurement. In contrast to measurement of the sternum, the tape should not be worked along the bony landmarks when pectus excavatum is present, but should be stretched between the two points of reference.

Figure 9.14 Measuring torso length.

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