Top Theories for the Etiopathogenesis of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

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BackgroundDespite considerable advances in the past few decades, there is no generally accepted “top theory or theories” of the etiology of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). This article aims to provide an overview of the current main hypothetical “concepts” on the etiopathogenesis of AIS.MethodsAn extensive literature review on hypothetical concepts on the etiology and etiopathogenesis of AIS.ResultsConcepts of etiopathogenesis in AIS were summarized and highlighted under 6 subgroups: genetics factors, abnormalities in nervous system, abnormal skeletal growth, hormones and metabolic dysfunction, biomechanical factors, and environmental and life style factors. An integrative model on the etiopathogenesis of AIS is proposed.ConclusionsThe current knowledge is still fragmented and many fundamental questions have remained to be answered. In moving forward in the perusal of further advancement of our understanding of the etiopathogenetic mechanisms and future evidence-based prevention and management of AIS, multidisciplinary and multicenter innovative research collaboration is imminently important and necessary.Clinical RelevanceWith a relatively comprehensive review on the current understanding on the etiology and etiopathogenesis of AIS, the article would help to stimulate further innovative thoughts, research, and especially collaborative research in this area of great interest.

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