Purpose: To identify the prevalence and predictors of nonspecific back pain in primary thoracic adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients at 10 years after surgery. Methods: This was a case–control multi-center study. A query of patients who underwent surgical correction of major thoracic AIS between 1997 and 2007 with 10-year follow-up was reviewed. SRS-22 pain scores at 10 years were classified as below normal (≤ 2 standard deviations below average for controls of similar age/sex from published literature) or within/above the control range. Results: One hundred and seventy-one patients with an average of 10.5 ± 0.8-years follow-up were included. Average age at surgery was 14 ± 2 years. The rate of pain was 23% for males and 11% for females (p = 0.08). Differences in age, 10-year SRS mental health score, and radiographic measures were noted. Of 12 patients who underwent revision surgery, 42% reported below normal pain scores versus 11% in cases without revision (p = 0.012). Classification and regression tree (CART) analysis identified 10-year thoracic curve magnitude and 10-year mental health scores as significant predictors. Thoracic Cobb of ≤ 26° at 10 years was associated with a 7% rate of below normal pain scores compared to 27.5% when the curve was > 26° (OR = 4.8, p < 0.05). Of those with a curve ≤ 26°, no patients had abnormal pain if the SRS mental health score was > 4.2 and 15% had more pain than normal if mental health score was ≤ 4.2 (OR 23, p < 0.05). Conclusion: Increased primary thoracic curve magnitude (> 26°) at 10 years was the primary predictor of increased pain. For patients with less coronal deformity (< 26°), a poor mental health score was associated with an increased rate of pain. Male gender and revision surgery may also play a role in increased pain, however, the overall frequency of these variables were low. Level of evidence: Level 3.
- Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
- Case–control study
- Long-term follow-up
- Multi-center study
- Patient reported outcomes
- Scoliosis research society questionnaire
- Thoracic coronal curve