Results of surgical treatment of adult idiopathic scoliosis with low back pain and spinal stenosis: a study of long-term clinical radiographic outcomes

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2003 Feb 15;28(4):358-63. doi: 10.1097/01.BRS.0000048502.62793.0C.


Study design: A case series of adults with surgical treatment for adult idiopathic thoracolumbar and/or lumbar scoliosis, low back pain, and spinal stenosis was studied.

Objective: To assess pain relief, curve correction, and complications after combined procedures consisting of decompression, spine fusion, and stabilization.

Summary of background data: Only one publication has focused specifically at this group, and this was before the advent of modern segmental instrumentation. This is the first report of long-term follow-up evaluation in such a patient population.

Methods: This study included 16 patients who underwent elective anterior and posterior surgical reconstruction for adult idiopathic thoracolumbar and/or lumbar scoliosis, spinal stenosis, and low back pain with a minimum follow-up period of 2 years. Radiographic findings, clinical results, and long-term outcome data were obtained using the Modified Scoliosis Research Society outcome instrument and the Oswestry Disability Back Pain Questionnaire.

Results: Restoration of coronal and sagittal balance, or improvement thereof, was achieved in all the patients with balance problems. There was significant improvement in all outcome domains. Overall, 94% of the patients were satisfied with the surgery. Ten major complications occurred in 10 patients, 8 of whom required additional surgery. There were two minor complications.

Conclusions: Combined symptoms of back pain and spinal stenosis require complex reconstructive surgery in adults with idiopathic thoracolumbar and/or lumbar scoliosis. Significant pain relief, functional restoration, and satisfaction can be achieved and maintained over the long term in the properly selected patient.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / surgery*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Radiography
  • Scoliosis / surgery*
  • Spinal Stenosis / surgery*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome