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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2007 Jan 1;32(1):93-7.

The selection of operative versus nonoperative treatment in patients with adult scoliosis.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Louisville School of Medicine and the Kenton D. Leatherman Spine Center, Louisville, KY, USA. tallgeyer@spinemds.com

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

Retrospective case-control matched series.

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study is to define factors that influence the patient and surgeon in the selection of surgical versus nonsurgical treatment for adult scoliosis.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA:

There is no literature that specifically examines why adult scoliosis patients and/or their surgeons choose surgical versus nonsurgical treatment.

METHODS:

This study analyzes a prospective multicentered database for adult spinal deformity. A logistic regression technique was used to perform case-control matching. A total of 161 matched pairs were compared for radiographic characteristics, questionnaire responses, and standardized outcome measures.

RESULTS:

Nonsurgical patients had greater preoperative medical risk factors. Surgical patients had larger thoracic (51 degrees vs. 44 degrees, P = 0.006) and thoracolumbar/lumbar curves (55 degrees vs. 43 degrees, P = 0.000). Surgical patients had more frequent leg pain (47% vs. 35%, P = 0.04). They reported a higher mean level of daily back pain (P = 0.008) and more frequent moderate-to-severe back pain over the past 6 months (P = 0.03). There were also significant differences in perception of appearance and social function between the cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study emphasizes the complexity of surgical decision making for adult scoliosis patients. It also underscores the importance of patient-based health status measures in evaluating the adult scoliosis patient.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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