Every year, the Italian Scoliosis Study Group selects the best published papers on conservative spine treatment from the global scientific literature.
Here is the abstract from one of these papers.
Extreme long-term outcome of operatively versus conservatively treated patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
Mazda Farshad, Lucas Kutschke, Christoph J. Laux, Method Kabelitz, Regula Schüpbach, Thomas Böni& Thorsten Jentzsch
European Spine Journal 2020 – DOI: 10.1007/s00586-020-06509-1
Purpose: We report on outcomes of surgically versus (vs) non-surgically treated patients with moderate adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) after minimum of 29 years.
Methods: AIS patients with a follow-up of ≥ 41 years in the surgical group and ≥ 29 years in the non-surgical group were included. Patients were treated surgically for primary curves ≥ 45° vs non-surgically for curves < 45° or refusal of surgery. Groups were matched for age, gender, comorbidities and primary curve severity. Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) was used to measure clinical outcomes and standard radiography to quantify curve severity at final follow-up.
Results: In total, 16 patients (8 within each group, 75% females) with a median age of 14 (interquartile range (IQR) 2) years could be included and were followed up after 46 (IQR 12) years. All matched variables were similar for both groups, including the primary curve Cobb angles of 48° (IQR 17°) (surgical) vs 40° (IQR 19°) (non-surgical); p = 0.17). At final follow-up after a median of 47 (IQR 5) years for the surgical and 39 (IQR 19) years for the non-surgical group (p = 0.43), the ODI was similar for both groups (15 (IQR 13) points (surgical) vs 7 (IQR 15) points (non-surgical); p = 0.17) with, however, a primary curve magnitude lower in the surgical compared to the non-surgical group (38° (IQR 3°) vs 61° (IQR 33°); p = 0.01), respectively.
Conclusion: After around 47 and 39 years, respectively, surgical and non-surgical treatment of moderate AIS showed similar subjective outcomes, but with a relevant smaller curve magnitude with surgical treatment.
Level of evidence: III.
Keywords: Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; Correction; Long-term; Non-surgical; Surgery.