Ten girls with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis were studied before and 17-23 months after spinal fusion. None had any cardiac or respiratory disease complicating the scoliosis. They underwent a range of resting lung function tests and a progressive exercise test. The mean angle of scoliosis decreased from 65.8 to 27.3 degrees after operation but the only significant physiological benefit detected in this study was a decrease in the submaximal minute ventilation. The physiological benefit of spinal fusion was therefore much less prominent than the anatomical improvement of the spinal curvature.
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