Because the operative and nonoperative management of spine disorders has become increasingly prevalent, it is essential that appropriate functional outcomes measures are used to assess efficacy of treatment. Scale / score systems for spinal disorders are used to evaluate the disease severity and to measure the outcome objectively. They can be used for quality improvement of the patient care and for research purposes. Valid and reliable outcome measures must demonstrate validity, reliability, and responsiveness. Use of spinal scales could enable us to:

1. Evaluate and grade the disease objectively,
2. Develop algorithms for treatment selection,
3. Measure the outcome,
4. Communicate better.

Many of spinal scales are for outcome assessment. Outcome assessment is complex and involves multiple dimensions including symptoms, general well-being, function, work disability, and satisfaction with treatment. A scale system should conform some standards in terms of reliability, validity, responsiveness, and practicality of the measures.

This section of the Scientific Spine gives an outline of scales/scoring systems used in spinal disorders. Most of spine-related scoring systems have dedicated pages in the Scientific Spine website. If you interested in finding a certain scoring system, you may visit either Spine Scores Classified page or The Complete List of Spine Scores in Alphabetical Order page.

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