Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

Abstract

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is a three-dimensional deformity of the spine affecting approximately 2% to 3% of children. Treatment goals are aimed at minimizing patient deformity and maximizing functional outcome throughout life. The risk of progression of scoliosis is affected by the magnitude of the deformity and growth potential, with younger children and larger deformities at higher risk of progression. Traditional treatment options include observation, brace treatment, and surgical intervention consisting of spinal fusion. More recent alternative treatments, such as scoliosis-specific physical therapy protocols and motion-preserving growth modulation surgery, are generating increasing interest from the public and the medical community. Although surgical techniques have evolved over time with more powerful correction ability, limited data exist regarding the changes in functional and patient-reported health-related outcomes associated with these changes in surgical technique. Future investigation into the outcomes of patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis will be important to determine the optimal cost-benefit decisions for nonsurgical and surgical treatment of this disease.

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