A survey was made of the records of all the patients with nontuberculous empyema treated by operation in this institution during the years 1932 to 1936 inclusive. This study was undertaken because of the impression that scoliosis was an occasional sequel to operation for empyema. It was felt that careful observation of all the factors involved might explain why in some patients empyema was followed by persistent scoliosis while others, with apparently similar involvement, recovered without any permanent spinal deformity.
The observation has been made by Chandler1 that in almost all cases of acute empyema scoliosis develops with the concavity toward the diseased side. This type of scoliosis is slight (18 degrees maximum) and in almost all cases subsides when the empyema is healed. Bisgard,2 Cleveland,3 Gaugele,4 Gurd,5 Hedblom,6 Kleinberg,7 Rey,8 Steindler9 and von Beust10 studied the problem of scoliosis