DOI: 10.3390/children11010052 ISSN: 2227-9067

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Surgery: Postoperative Functional Outcomes at 32 Years Mean Follow-Up

Giuseppe Barone, Fabrizio Giudici, Francesco Manzini, Pierluigi Pironti, Marco Viganò, Leone Minoia, Marino Archetti, Antonino Zagra, Laura Scaramuzzo
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

Introduction: Recent clinical and radiographic studies conducted over short and medium terms have demonstrated positive results in patients undergoing surgery for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). However, the absence of long-term data, crucial for comprehending the impact on future quality of life, especially in young patients actively involved in very intense physical activities, remains a gap. This study aims to evaluate long-term functional outcomes in patients who underwent surgery for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. Material and Methods: Patients meeting specific criteria (diagnosis of AIS, age at surgery between 12 and 18 years, and follow-up of at least 20 years) were identified from a large spine surgery center database. A questionnaire using “Google Form” assessed various outcomes, including Visual Analog Scale (VAS) back, VAS leg, Short Form 12 score (SF-12), Scoliosis Research Society 22 score (SRS-22), incidence of spine revision surgery, postoperative high demanding activities (work and sport), and possible pregnancies was sent to the enrolled patients. The authors analyzed the results regarding all patients included and, moreover, statistical analysis categorized patients into two groups based on the surgical fusion performed: Group 1 (non-instrumented technique according to Hibbs–Risser) and Group 2 (instrumented tecnique according to Cotrel–Dubousset). Results: A total of 63 patients (mean age 47.5 years) were included, with a mean follow-up of 31.9 years. Patients were, in mean, 47.5 years old. Group 1 comprised 42 patients, and Group 2 had 21 patients. Revision surgery was required in 19% of patients, predominantly for implant issues in Group 2 (11.9% vs. 33%, p < 0.05). Overall outcomes were favorable: VAS back = 3.5, VAS leg = 2.5, SRS-22 = 3.5, SF-12 Physical Component Summary = 41.1, SF-12 Mental Component Summary = 46.7, with no significant differences between the group 1 and group 2. At 5-years FU, the non-reoperation rate was higher in the non-instrumented group (97.6% vs. 71.4%, p < 0.001). By means of SRS-22, overall satisfaction was 3.7 ± 1.2 on a maximum scale of 5. More than half of women have successfully completed one pregnancy. Most patients (87.3%) maintained regular work activity. Among sport practioners, half returned to the similar preoperative level. Conclusions: This study reveals favorable long-term functional results in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients after surgical fusion. Mild to moderate back and leg pain were observed, but overall satisfaction, sport participation, and work activity were high. Surgical technique (non-instrumented vs. instrumented) did not significantly impact long-term results, though the instrumented fusion exhibited a higher revision rate.

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