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Ten-year Follow-up of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Patients Confirms Benefits of Surgery

Fig. 1 Clinical photos of a 14-year-old girl with severe idiopathic scoliosis in the standing and forward bend positions. Note her truncal shift and rib deformity.
Courtesy of Suken A. Shah, MD, FAAOS

The largest study of its kind for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), with at least 10-year follow-up of complications and reoperations following spinal fusion for AIS, found an overall complication rate of 12.0 percent and reoperation rate of 6.7 percent in the patients followed. The authors stated that complications occurred throughout the 10-year period, demonstrating the crucial importance of long-term follow-up.

The study was presented at the virtual 2020 Annual Meeting of the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) by Suken A. Shah, MD, FAAOS, of Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, and received the SRS’ Russell A. Hibbs Best Clinical Research Paper Award. Arun R. Hariharan, MD, a fellow in Dr. Shah’s program at Nemours, was the first author, and additional investigators are members of the Harms Study Group.

Dr. Shah said that although the numbers for complications and reoperation were “probably higher than we had thought they might be, or what we might have been quoting to our patients,” the study findings also demonstrate that “everyone can be assured that despite complications, the long-term outcomes were still excellent, and patients were satisfied. Surgery for AIS is safe, effective, and durable in the long term. It has a long-lasting effect on quality of life well into adulthood and should be strongly considered when recommended for severe scoliosis in the adolescent, teenager, or young adult.”

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This article is brought to you by AAOS Now

Published 1/27/2021 | Terry Stanton

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