Research in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

The Relationship Between Thoracic Hyperkyphosis and the Scoliosis Research Society Outcomes Instrument

Petcharaporn, Maty BS*; Pawelek, Jeff BS*; Bastrom, Tracey MA*; Lonner, Baron MD†; Newton, Peter O. MD*‡

Study Design. A retrospective chart review and radiographic analysis.

Objective. To evaluate the association between thoracic hyperkyphosis and patient quality of life measures as determined by the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) outcomes instrument.

Summary of Background Data. Although validated outcomes questionnaires (e.g., Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument and SRS) have been used to evaluate patients with scoliosis, there has been little written about the effects of sagittal plane alignment on these functional outcome measurements.

Methods. Data from the SRS outcomes instrument were collected from patients with thoracic hyperkyphosis as well as those with normal spinal alignment. A total of 50 patients with thoracic kyphosis ≥45° were compared with 50 normal patients with thoracic kyphosis <45°. Correlation analysis was performed to identify significant relationships between the magnitude of the major kyphotic curve and the 4 SRS outcome questionnaire domains (Total Pain, General Self-Image, General Function, and Activity). Lower SRS scores indicate an increase in symptoms.

Results. The average age of the subjects was 14 ± 4 years (range, 8–18 years). The thoracic kyphosis varied between 11° and 95° for all subjects. Significant negative correlations were found between kyphosis magnitude and the total pain, general self-image, general function, overall level of activity, and total SRS scores (P < 0.0001). Of the 4 domains, self-image had the highest correlation with kyphosis magnitude while activity had the lowest.

Conclusion. These findings indicate that higher kyphosis magnitudes were associated with increased pain, lower self-image, and decreased function and activity. Patients with thoracic hyperkyphosis were significantly more symptomatic than normal subjects in all domains. The r values for this analysis of kyphosis (0.40–0.66), in fact were substantially greater than those previously reported for scoliosis magnitude versus SRS Questionnaire scores (0.16–0.26), suggesting this instrument may be even better suited for the evaluation of hyperkyphosis patients.


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Spine: 15 September 2007 – Volume 32 – Issue 20 – pp 2226-2231