AIS Braces Produce Positive Long-term Outcomes

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A study that demonstrated the long-term effectiveness of bracing for scoliotic curve correction in adolescent patients won a 2017 award from the Society on Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment (SOSORT). The open-access study, which was published online October 30 in Scoliosis and Spinal Disorders, compared outcomes of patients ten years after brace removal who were treated for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) and were grouped by Cobb angles under and over 30°.

Researchers reviewed records of 93 patients (87 female) with AIS who were treated with the Lyon brace or the Progressive Action Short Brace (PASB) at a mean of 15 years old (a range of 10-35 years). The patients answered a questionnaire that included information about work status, pregnancy, and pain, and underwent clinical and radiological examination. The population was divided into two groups based on Cobb degrees (less than or equal to 30° and greater than 30°).

The patients underwent a long-term follow-up at a mean of 184.1 months (± 72.60) after brace removal. The pre-brace scoliotic mean curve was 32.28° (± 9.4°); after treatment, the mean was 19.35° and increased to a minimum of 22.12° in the ten years following brace removal. However, there was no significant difference in the mean Cobb angle between the end of weaning and the long-term follow-up period. The curve angle of patients who were treated with a brace from the beginning was reduced by 13° during the treatment, but the curve size lost 3° at the follow-up period, according to the study.

The over 30° group showed a pre-brace scoliotic mean curve of 41.15°; at the end of weaning, the mean curve angle was 25.85° and increased to a mean of 29.73° at follow-up. The group whose Cobb angles were less than or equal to 30° showed a pre-brace scoliotic mean curve of 25.58°; at the end of weaning, it was reduced to a mean of 14.24° and it increased to 16.38° at follow-up. There was no significant difference in the mean progression of curve magnitude between the groups at the long-term follow-up.

Scoliotic curves did not deteriorate beyond their post-bracing curve size in either group at 15-year follow-ups. The study's authors concluded that bracing is an effective treatment method characterized by positive long-term outcomes, including for patients demonstrating moderate curves.