Study design: Fifty-five patients undergoing surgery for adult spinal deformity assessed their health status using a generic health outcome instrument before surgery and at an average of 2 years after surgery.
Objective: To assess whether adult spinal deformity surgery is a useful intervention when patients evaluate their own perception of health. The Medical Outcomes Survey Short Form-36, a validated generic health outcome assessment form, was used to measure patient's health status.
Summary of background data: Surgery for adult scoliosis is technically demanding. No study that we are aware of uses a generic health outcome instrument in a prospective manner to compare patients' perception of their health after adult scoliosis surgery. The Medical Outcomes Survey Short Form-36 has been validated in multiple studies assessing other medical conditions and was found to be reliable, comprehensive, brief, and generic.
Methods: Sixty-eight adult patients undergoing surgery for adult spinal deformity were prospectively enrolled. Fifty-five patients were available to complete the Medical Outcomes Surgery Short Form-36 after surgery. The scores of the health profile were compared before and after surgery. The results of patients younger than 40 years were compared with those of patients older than 40 years. The results of patients younger than 40 years were compared with those of patients older than 40 years. The results of patients fused to more caudal end vertebral levels ((L4, L5)5) were compared with those who were fused to more cranial end vertebral levels. The results of patients without complications after surgery were compared with those of patients with complications after surgery.
Results: Average follow-up period was 22.5 months (minimum 12 months) in 82% of 68 patients. Statistically significant improvements were seen in postoperative scores for physical function, social function, bodily pain, and perceived health change. We found no significant differences in self-reported health function parameters related to age ( > 40 vs. < 40), end vertebral level of fusion, or presence of complications after surgery.
Conclusions: Applying a generic health outcome instrument to adult spinal deformity surgery shows that adult scoliosis surgery significantly improves patient self-reported health assessment and function. Beneficial results do not appear to deteriorate with age or more caudal end vertebral levels of fusion. Future studies combining disease-specific outcomes analysis and generic health surveys to assess end results of adult spinal deformity surgery will be useful.