Scoliosis in the elderly: a follow-up study

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). Jul-Aug 1982;7(4):355-9. doi: 10.1097/00007632-198207000-00005.


A follow-up x-ray study of 554 subjects aged between 50 and 84 years has been carried out to determine the appearance, presence, and progression of scoliosis in the elderly and its relationship to osteoporosis and back pain. The subjects were chosen from a population group of 3600 subjects examined 7 to 13 years previously in the same investigators. Some degree of scoliosis was found in 70% of the subjects, and curves of 10 degrees or more in approximately 30%. Ten percent of the subjects had developed scoliosis de novo during the follow-up period. There was no direct relationship between the presence or progression of scoliosis and osteoporosis. There was no direct relationship between scoliosis and back pain or between scoliosis and degenerative changes in the spine. Since scoliosis in the elderly seldom becomes a clinical problem of significance, there would appear to be no valid reason for a more extensive study of the condition at this time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Back Pain / etiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / complications
  • Scoliosis* / complications
  • Scoliosis* / epidemiology
  • Scoliosis* / pathology
  • Sex Factors
  • Spinal Diseases / complications
  • Spine / pathology