Assessing the results of deformity surgery for the pediatric age group has been challenging, because the effects of the surgical treatment do not become readily-apparent until the patients are well into their adulthood.An additional challenge aside from a patient’s deformity is that of confounding degenerative processes that may occur as patients age.This is particularly true of adult deformity patients where the deformity may accelerate degenerative processes.The principal investigator has carefully followed a cohort of 50 pediatric and adult scoliosis patients for long-term follow-up.Early and midterm outcomes for pediatric and adult scoliosis patients relative to age and gender match controls have found substantial improvement in pain and function after surgical treatment but with a slight regression at 5 years postoperatively.
Pediatric and adult scoliosis patients will continue to have pain and function assessed every two years postoperatively. Specific outcomes instruments include Visual Analog Pain Scale, Oswestry Disability Index, Pain Drawing, as well as monitoring for additional surgical procedures and treatments.Subjects who were age and gender matched to the surgical patients and were part of a previous study comparing preoperative pain and function of deformity patients have also been followed every two years with the same outcomes instruments.Implied consent is obtained by surveys that are returned for those subjects with known address at the time of follow-up. At the conclusion of the study, which is anticipated to take another six years, the discal analysis will be used to compare the multiple groups of surgically-treated and control subjects. A concurrent study which will assess lumbar degenerative changes by MRI scanning is described elsewhere. The results of the companion study will be correlated with the patients symptoms.