Adult spinal deformity

Lancet. 2019 Jul 13;394(10193):160-172. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31125-0. Epub 2019 Jul 11.


Adult spinal deformity affects the thoracic or thoracolumbar spine throughout the ageing process. Although adolescent spinal deformities taken into adulthood are not uncommon, the most usual causes of spinal deformity in adults are iatrogenic flatback and degenerative scoliosis. Given its prevalence in the expanding portion of the global population aged older than 65 years, the disorder is of growing interest in health care. Physical examination, with a focus on gait and posture, along with radiographical assessment are primarily used and integrated with risk stratification indices to establish optimal treatment planning. Although non-operative treatment is regarded as the first-line response, surgical outcomes are considerably favourable. Global disparities exist in both the assessment and treatment of adults with spinal deformity across countries of varying incomes, which represents an area requiring further investigation. This Seminar presents evidence and knowledge that represent the evolution of data related to spinal deformity in adults over the past several decades.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cost of Illness
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / abnormalities*
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Physical Examination
  • Radiography
  • Risk Assessment
  • Spinal Curvatures* / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Curvatures* / epidemiology
  • Spinal Curvatures* / psychology
  • Spinal Curvatures* / therapy
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / abnormalities*
  • Treatment Outcome