Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology and Health Science

Committee Chair(s)

Dennis Dolny


Dennis Dolny


Trek Lyons


Lori Olsen


Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is defined as a lateral and rotational curvature of the spine with an unknown origin. Scoliosis is diagnosed based on age of onset and clinical presentation. Physicians measure curve severity by Cobb’s angle, which is marked on an x-ray. Participation is sports, which require compressive and tensile forces on the spine increase risk of back-related injury, including scoliosis or the progression of scoliosis. Sports such as gymnastics have been shown to increase back pain; although, studies have found some participation in gymnastic activities helps in strengthening skeletal musculature and respiratory musculature, which benefits patients diagnosed with scoliosis. The purpose of this research is to explore the clinical assessment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis pre- and post surgical intervention in a division I female college gymnast. The patient in this study is a 21-year-old female gymnast that was clinically diagnosed with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis at 20 years of age. The patient has competed in gymnastics since the age of six and currently underwent spinal fusion surgery to correct a scoliotic curve of 81 degrees that was creating breathing difficulties. Pulmonary function testing, joint range of motion measurements, and muscular power were clinically assessed one week prior to spinal fusion surgery and one year following curvature correction. Results expressed overall improvement in parameters tested along with reduction of pre-surgical symptoms, which were caused by the severe spinal curvature.