Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a structural spinal deformity characterised by decompensation of the normal vertebral alignment during rapid skeletal growth in otherwise healthy children. It develops between the ages of 10 and 18 years and accounts for approximately 90% of idiopathic scoliosis cases.
The diagnosis is one of exclusion and is made after ruling out other causes of spinal deformity such as neuromuscular, congenital, or syndromic disorders.
The vast majority of patients will never require any form of treatment during the course of their lifetime.
Patients with a severe curvature are at risk of further curve progression and may develop long-term problems related to the degree of the deformity caused by this curvature and/or back pain.
It is uncertain whether non-surgical management (i.e., bracing) is efficacious in the treatment of patients with a severe curvature.
Modern surgical techniques have provided a safe treatment option resulting in excellent deformity correction and good long-term patient reported outcomes.