Adult spine deformity

Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2011 Dec;4(4):159-67. doi: 10.1007/s12178-011-9101-z.


Adult spinal deformity may occur as the result of a number of conditions and patients may present with a heterogeneous group of symptoms. Multiple etiologies may cause spinal deformity; however, symptoms are associated with progressive and asymmetric degeneration of the spinal elements potentially leading to neural element compression. Symptoms and clinical presentation vary and may be related to progressive deformity, axial back pain, and/or neurologic symptoms. Spinal deformity is becoming more common as adults 55-64 years of age are the fastest growing proportion of the U.S. population. As the percentage of elderly in the United States accelerates, more patients are expected to present with painful spinal conditions, potentially requiring spinal surgery. The decision between operative and nonoperative treatment for adult spinal deformity is based on the severity and type of the patient's symptoms as well as the magnitude and risk of potential interventions.