Retrospective comparative cohort.
The aim of this study was to determine whether spinal growth is restricted by brace treatment in patients with juvenile idiopathic scoliosis (JIS).
Summary of Background Data.
Spinal fusion can negatively affect spinal growth if performed before the growth spurt. Brace treatment is often given in this young population to control the spinal deformity while allowing spinal growth. It is unknown whether the applied pressure of brace treatment on spine results in growth restriction. The aim of the study is to evaluate spinal growth in braced JIS patients.
A total of 49 JIS patients treated with Boston brace were retrospectively selected from a scoliosis database. T1-T12/T1-S1 perpendicular and freehand (height following the curvature of the spine) height were measured on radiographs of patients that had reached skeletal maturity and were matched with 49 controls without scoliosis. Spinal growth was calculated from brace initiation until cessation and was compared with normal spinal growth values as reported by Dimeglio.
The mean age of diagnosis was 7.4 years. The age of the braced scoliosis patients at skeletal maturity was 17.5 years. The average T1-T12 and T1-S1 freehand height measured by following the curvature of the scoliosis was 29.3 cm (±2.4) and 47.2cm (±4.0), respectively, and was not significant different from the control group. Brace treatment was initiated at a mean age of 11.2 and the mean age of cessation was 14.8. Spinal growth (freehand) during brace treatment was 1.10 cm/year for the thoracic spine and 1.78 cm/year for the full spine and was not significant different from normal values.
No significant influence of bracing on spinal growth could be detected in this cohort of JIS patients. The spinal height measurements at skeletal maturity were similar to matched controls. In addition, spinal growth did not significantly differ from Dimeglio normal growth data, indicating that the effect of bracing on spinal growth is absent or minimal.
Level of Evidence: 3