Clinical and radiographic evaluation of the adult spinal deformity patient.


Among the prevalent forms of adult spinal deformity are residual adolescent idiopathic and degenerative scoliosis, kyphotic deformity, and spondylolisthesis. Clinical evaluation should include a thorough history, discussion of concerns, and a review of comorbidities. Physical examination should include assessment of the deformity and a neurologic examination. Imaging studies should include full-length standing posteroanterior and lateral spine radiographs, and measurement of pelvic parameters. Advanced imaging studies are frequently indicated to assess for neurologic compromise and for surgical planning. This article focuses on clinical and radiographic evaluation of spinal deformity in the adult population, particularly scoliosis and kyphotic deformities.





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Publication Info

Smith, Justin S, Christopher I Shaffrey, Kai-Ming G Fu, Justin K Scheer, Shay Bess, Virginie Lafage, Frank Schwab, Christopher P Ames, et al. (2013). Clinical and radiographic evaluation of the adult spinal deformity patient. Neurosurgery clinics of North America, 24(2). pp. 143–156. 10.1016/ Retrieved from

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Christopher Ignatius Shaffrey

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

I have more than 25 years of experience treating patients of all ages with spinal disorders. I have had an interest in the management of spinal disorders since starting my medical education. I performed residencies in both orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery to gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire range of spinal disorders. My goal has been to find innovative ways to manage the range of spinal conditions, straightforward to complex. I have a focus on managing patients with complex spinal disorders. My patient evaluation and management philosophy is to provide engaged, compassionate care that focuses on providing the simplest and least aggressive treatment option for a particular condition. In many cases, non-operative treatment options exist to improve a patient’s symptoms. I have been actively engaged in clinical research to find the best ways to manage spinal disorders in order to achieve better results with fewer complications.

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