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Current concepts in the surgical management of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

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Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a complex 3D deformity of the spine. Its prevalence is between 2% and 3% in the general population, with almost 10% of patients requiring some form of treatment and up to 0.1% undergoing surgery. The cosmetic aspect of the deformity is the biggest concern to the patient and is often accompanied by psychosocial distress. In addition, severe curves can cause cardiopulmonary distress. With proven benefits from surgery, the aims of treatment are to improve the cosmetic and functional outcomes. Obtaining correction in the coronal plane is not the only important endpoint anymore. With better understanding of spinal biomechanics and the long-term effects of multiplanar imbalance, we now know that sagittal balance is equally, if not more, important. Better correction of deformities has also been facilitated by an improvement in the design of implants and a better understanding of metallurgy. Understanding the unique character of each deformity is important. In addition, using the most appropriate implant and applying all the principles of correction in a bespoke manner is important to achieve optimum correction.

In this article, we review the current concepts in AIS surgery.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2018;100-B:415–24.

Correspondence should be sent to A. Tambe; email:

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