European Spine Journal

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 253–263 | Cite as

The influence of pregnancy on women with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

  • Michael C. Dewan
  • Nishit Mummareddy
  • Christopher Bonfield



The study’s aim was to address three fundamental questions related to pregnancy and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), and provide clinically applicable answers to spine specialists and general practitioners alike.


The authors performed a systematic literature review using MEDLINE, EMBASE, Google Scholar, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews to identify articles published between 1980 and 2015 that described pregnancy-related characteristics and outcomes in AIS patients. The search was conducted using PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines and evidence was classified according to the Oxford CEBM (Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine) appraisal tool.


Twenty-two articles incorporating more than 3125 AIS patients were included. All studies concluded level 2b evidence or lower. Nulliparity rates were slightly higher among AIS patients, and more frequent infertility treatment was required. Pregnancy-related back pain was common, and while non-disabling, may have been more severe than in healthy women. Minor curve progression often occurred during pregnancy, though its permanence was questioned and significance unknown. Back pain and curve progression occurred independent of AIS treatment modality. With modern technology, anesthetic and obstetric complications in the perinatal period were not elevated in AIS mothers.


Women with AIS experience slightly elevated rates of nulliparity, infertility treatment, prepartum back pain, and peripartum curve progression. However, most women are able to have children and are not at increased risk of pregnancy-related complications. Higher quality evidence is needed to better define these relationships and allow more guided counseling and treatment.


Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis Anesthesia Back pain Curve progression Pregnancy 


Compliance with ethical standards


No funding was received for this work.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

The study design consisted of a literature review of previously published data; no human participants were directly involved in any aspect of this study. Informed consent, therefore, was not applicable.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael C. Dewan
    • 1
  • Nishit Mummareddy
    • 1
  • Christopher Bonfield
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurological SurgeryVanderbilt University Medical CenterNashvilleUSA

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