Scoliosis Research Society
SRS: Scoliosis Research Society

Scoliosis Research Society

Dedicated to the optimal care of patients with spinal deformity

Factors Associated with Increased Back Pain in Primary Thoracic Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis 10 Years After Surgery

This study was conducted to better understand back pain 10 years after surgery for scoliosis. Patients from six hospitals were included. A total of 171 patients were assessed with questionnaires. They were compared to peers of the same age and gender but without scoliosis. These patients are “typical” scoliosis patients with an age at surgery of 14 years. As expected, most patients were women (87%). About three quarters had a single curve in the chest part of the spine.

Overall, the patients were doing well 10 years after surgery. Only one in eight patients had much worse pain than those without scoliosis. Surgical characteristics such as length of fusion, lowest level fused, or highest level fused did not matter. Painful patients had been slightly older at the time of surgery, but their curves were the same. Painful patients had larger residual curves at 10 years. If the residual curve was less than 26 degrees, only 6% had pain. In contrast, 24% of patients with larger residual curves had abnormal pain. Patients with abnormal pain scores were also more likely to need more surgery.

Most scoliosis patients (87%) had pain scores equal to non-scoliosis peers. Of patients with a residual curve of over 25 degrees at ten years after surgery, 24% had abnormal pain.

Bastrom T.P., Ohashi M., Bartley C.E. et al.
Spine Deformity (2022) 10:55-62.

Summary provided by the SRS Patient Education Committee.