Idiopathic adolescent scoliosis


This case concerns a 16-year-old female patient who suffers from idiopathic adolescent scoliosis. During the growth period between 10 to 12 years, the curvature of her spine continued to increase, although the disease was already recognized at the age of 8 and treated with a corset. The young woman is now almost fully grown and has reached the same height as that of her parents. Apart from a somewhat limited ability to carry weight, she has no pain or other restrictions in her everyday life and school activities.


Because of her back, she does not feel comfortable with her peers and is unhappy. Above all, she is unhappy because of the strong distortion of her spine with an asymmetry of the chest and waist. After giving the situation much thought and long discussions with her parents, the patient decided to perform an operation to correct the scoliosis. At the patient's request, distortions of the thoracic and lumbar area (in a bulge-like shape) should be treated at the same time in order to achieve an optimal cosmetic result. From an orthopaedic, spine surgical viewpoint, the main aim is to prevent any expected increase in scoliosis and its associated problems, which may occur during the course of life.


The treatment of choice is a long-range correction of the curved spinal segments (correction spondylodesis) as seen in the figure. Within a week, the patient recuperates and can leave the hospital. Until the end of the bone healing period, regular examinations are made throughout and including the 9-12 months after surgery. Thereafter, the patient does not experience any major restrictions in everyday life and no longer feels handicapped by her body.