Thoracolumbar spinal deformity: Part I. A historical passage to 1990: historical vignette

J Neurosurg Spine. 2009 Dec;11(6):631-9. doi: 10.3171/2009.3.SPINE08336.


Seven millennia of anthropological artifacts and historical tales reference human spinal deformity, its diagnosis, and treatment-many of the latter of which turned out to be worse than the deformity itself. From Hippocrates to Harrington to the 21st century, the literature base has expanded in exponential fashion to yield an imperfect but constantly improving body of evidence, experience, and understanding of this challenging disease phenomenon. This review details the pre-1990 innovations, whose failures and successes have equally contributed to the advancement and dissemination of the increasingly evidence-based field of spinal deformity.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • History, 16th Century
  • History, 17th Century
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, Ancient
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / abnormalities*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / history*
  • Spinal Curvatures / diagnosis
  • Spinal Curvatures / history*
  • Spinal Curvatures / surgery*
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / abnormalities*