What is the role of pulmonary function studies in the workup of idiopathic scoliosis?

Updated: Dec 02, 2020
  • Author: Charles T Mehlman, DO, MPH; Chief Editor: Jeffrey A Goldstein, MD  more...
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Pulmonary function studies have been used extensively in the evaluation of patients with idiopathic scoliosis. [7, 76, 77, 78] In general, patients whose scoliosis surgery does not involve disruption of their chest wall can be expected to experience improved postoperative pulmonary function. [79, 58] Other authors have suggested that an impairment in respiratory mechanics may persist after successful scoliosis surgery. [80] Preoperative pulmonary function testing is of questionable value in patients with moderate deformity (average Cobb angle 48°), as most of these patients can be expected to have normal or only mildly abnormal results. [81]

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