Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: Review and current concepts

Brian V. Reamy*, Joseph B. Slakey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

318 Scopus citations

Abstract

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is present in 2 to 4 percent of children between 10 and 16 years of age. It is defined as a lateral curvature of the spine greater than 10 degrees accompanied by vertebral rotation. It is thought to be a multigene dominant condition with variable phenotypic expression. Scoliosis can be identified by the Adam's forward bend test during physical examination. Severe pain, a left thoracic curve or an abnormal neurologic examination are red flags that point to a secondary cause for spinal deformity. Specialty consultation and magnetic resonance imaging are needed if red flags are present. Of adolescents diagnosed with scoliosis, only 10 percent have curves that progress and require medical intervention. The main risk factors for curve progression are a large curve magnitude, skeletal immaturity and female gender. The likelihood of curve progression can be estimated by measuring the curve magnitude using the Cobb method on radiographs and by assessing skeletal growth potential using Tanner staging and Risser grading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Family Physician
Volume64
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2001

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