Progression of trunk imbalance is an important finding during follow-up of patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). Nevertheless, no factors that predict progression of trunk imbalance have been identified. The purpose of this study was to identify parameters that predict progression of trunk imbalance in cases of AIS with a structural thoracolumbar/lumbar (TL/L) curve.
This study included 105 patients with AIS and a structural TL/L curve who were followed up at an outpatient clinic. Patients with trunk imbalance (trunk shift ≥ 20 mm) at the initial visit were excluded. All patients were followed up for more than 2 years. Patients were divided into the following groups according to progression of trunk imbalance: 1) Group P, trunk shift ≥ 20 mm at the final visit and degree of progression ≥ 10 mm; and 2) Group NP, trunk shift < 20 mm at the final visit or degree of progression < 10 mm. Radiological parameters included Cobb angle, upper end vertebrae and lower end vertebrae (LEV), LEV tilt, disc wedge angle between LEV and LEV+1, trunk shift, apical vertebral translation, and apical vertebral rotation (AVR). Each parameter was compared between groups. Radiological parameters were assessed at every visit using whole-spine standing anteroposterior radiographs.
Among the 105 patients examined, 13 showed trunk imbalance with progression ≥ 10 mm at the final visit (Group P). Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified a lower Risser grade (p = 0.002) and a greater initial AVR (p = 0.020) as predictors of progressive trunk imbalance. A change in LEV tilt during follow-up was associated with trunk imbalance (p = 0.001).
Risser grade and AVR measured at the initial visit may predict progression of trunk imbalance. Surgeons should consider the risk of progressive trunk imbalance if patients show skeletal immaturity and a greater AVR at the initial visit.