Patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) often have reduced sagittal thoracic kyphosis (hypokyphosis) and cervical lordosis causing an uneven distribution of physiologic load. However, the long-term consequences of hypokyphosis in AIS patients have not been previously documented. To evaluate whether uneven load distribution leads to future complications in patients with AIS, we conducted a retrospective chart review and subsequently surveyed 180 patients treated for idiopathic scoliosis between 1975 and 1992. These patients all had a minimum follow-up time of 20 years since their treatment. We observed a ten-fold increase in the incidence of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) compared to reported rates in the non-pathologic population. Out of the 180 patients, 33 patients met the criteria and returned for follow-up radiographs. This population demonstrated a statistically significant increased rate of cervical osteoarthritis and disc degeneration. Overall, our study suggests that hypokyphosis in patients with AIS presents with increased rates of cervical spine degeneration and dysfunction, suggesting that these patients may require additional follow-up and treatment.
- adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
- cervical spine degeneration
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Medicine