Results of operative treatment of idiopathic scoliosis in adults

J. H. Dickson*, S. Mirkovic, P. C. Noble, T. Nalty, W. D. Erwin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


We compared the results in eighty-one patients (average age, fifty-six years; range, forty-three to eighty-three years) who had had operative treatment of idiopathic scoliosis with those in thirty patients (average age, fifty-eight years; range, forty-five to seventy years) who had declined operative treatment. Seventy-six individuals (average age, forty-eight years; range, thirty-five to seventy-four years) who did not have scoliosis served as a control group. The average duration of follow-up was five years (range, two to seventeen years). The population base consisted of 454 patients who were seen between 1970 and 1985. The treated patients were drawn from a group of 160 patients for whom an operation had been recommended; 110 patients agreed to the operation and fifty refused. The remaining 294 patients had curves of insufficient severity to warrant concern about progression, had symptoms unrelated to the scoliosis, or had curves that did not necessitate any intervention. The functional status since the operation (for the treated patients), since recommendation of the operation (for the untreated patients), or within the last ten years (for the control group) was evaluated with a comprehensive questionnaire designed to elicit details regarding pain, fatigue, and any disability in the performance of twenty-six activities of daily living. At the most recent follow-up examination, the treated patients reported a significantly greater decrease in pain and fatigue and significantly more improvement in self-image and in the ability to perform physical, functional, and positional tasks than did the untreated patients (p = 0.0001).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-523
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series A
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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