Background: Since osteopenia has been reported to potentially associated with the progression of scoliosis, bone mineral density (BMD) might have some influences on adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). However, little is known about longitudinal BMD changes in AIS patients. This study aimed to investigate whether osteopenia in preoperative AIS patients persist at bone maturity, and to evaluate the association between BMD and AIS severity. Methods: We reviewed 61 AIS patients who underwent surgery when they were Risser grade 4 or below and less than 20 years old (16.6 ± 1.9 years), were followed until they were at least 18 years old and had a Risser grade of 5, and followed at least 2 years after the surgery (mean follow-up 4.9 ± 1.7 years). We evaluated radiographical parameters and proximal femur BMD before surgery and at the final follow-up. A BMD of less than the mean minus 1SD was considered as low BMD. Based on preoperative BMD, 37 patients were assigned to normal BMD (N) group (1.02 ± 0.08 g/cm2) and 24 patients to low BMD (L) group (0.82 ± 0.06 g/cm2). Results: All patients in the N-group had normal BMD at the final follow-up. In the L group, 15 patients (62.5%) had low BMD at the final follow-up (L–L group; preoperative 0.79 ± 0.05 g/cm2 and final follow-up 0.78 ± 0.05 g/cm2). The mean preoperative Cobb angle was significantly larger in the L–L group (67.8 ± 11.2°) than in those with normal BMD at the final follow-up (L–N group, 55.6 ± 11.8°) or the N–N group (50.8 ± 7.6°). Preoperative BMD was significantly negative correlated with the preoperative Cobb angle. The age at surgery and mean preoperative BMI were similar in the L–N and L–L groups. Conclusions: Of AIS patients with low preoperative BMD, 62.5% still had low BMD after reaching bone maturity, and low BMD was associated with the severity of scoliosis.
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