SRS-22r Scores in Nonoperated Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Patients With Curves Greater Than Forty Degrees

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Study Design.

Case control comparative series.


Describe surgical range adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients electing to forgo surgery and compare health-related quality-of-life outcomes to a similar cohort of operated AIS patients by the same single surgeon.

Summary of Background Data.

No data have been published either documenting SRS-22r scores of nonoperated patients with curves ≥40° or comparing these scores to a demographically similar operated cohort.


Individuals with curves ≥40°, age ≥18 years, and electing to forgo surgery were identified. All patients completed an SRS-22r questionnaire. This nonoperated cohort's SRS-22r scores were compared to those of a large demographically similar cohort operated by the same surgeon. Group differences between the SRS-22r scores were evaluated by comparing these to published Minimal Clinically Important Differences (MCID) for the SRS-22r.


One hundred ninety subjects with nonoperated curves were compared to 166 individuals who underwent surgery. The nonoperated cohort averaged 23.5 years of age, averaged 7.7 years since curve reached 40°, and had an average 50° Cobb angle at last follow-up. No statistical significant differences were found between the groups on the Pain, Function, or Mental Health domains of the SRS-22r. Statistically significant differences in favor of the operative cohort were found for self-image, satisfaction, and total score. The observed group differences did not meet the established thresholds for minimal clinically important differences in any of the domain scores, the average total score, or raw scores.


There are no meaningful clinically significant differences in SRS-22r scores at average 8-year follow-up between AIS patients with curves ≥40° treated with or without surgery. These data in conjunction with an absence of long-term evidence of serious medical consequences with nonsurgical management of curves ≥40° should encourage surgeons to reevaluate the benefits of routine surgical care.


Level of Evidence: 3

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