» Observation of Stable Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Results in Good Quality-of Life Later on in Life
Observation of Stable Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Results in Good Quality-of Life Later on in Life

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Do you have questions about scoliosis? This article discusses the quality of life of adults who used braces to correct their scoliosis when they were younger.



Scoliosis, curvature of the spine, affects about three out of every 100 people, although the severity ranges from very mild to very severe. A study done in 1995 looked at the use of back braces in helping correct scoliosis or to prevent it from getting it worse. The patients had all be diagnosed with a curve of between 25 degrees and 35 degrees at between 10 and 15 years old. The authors of this study followed up on these patients to see about their quality of life as adults.

Researchers only looked at the patients who had stable curves at the end of the study and did not include those who had to interrupt their participation due to curve progression. This left the researchers with 100 patients with stable curves. Twenty-three were unavailable for follow-up, leaving 77 in the study group. The groups had been divided during the study. One group, which was represented by 40 patients in this follow-up, was only under observation and treatment was done if the curves changed by more than six degrees. The remaining patients represent the braced group. The patients' charts were reviewed as well as x-rays. The patients were asked to complete the SRS-22 quality of life questionnaire, which was specifically designed for patients with scoliosis.

The results showed that neither group, neither group of patients showed any significant change in curve size and no-one had had to have surgery to correct the curve after they reached physical maturity. The quality-of-life scores also did not show any significant differences between the groups. After reviewing the original study and the findings of the follow-up, the authors wrote that patients with moderate adolescent idiopathic scoliosis who are left untreated because of stable curves, will likely have a good quality-of-life, as related to the scoliosis.

Reference: Aina J. Danielsson, MD, PhD, et al. Health-Related Quality of Life in Untreated Versus Brace-reated Patients with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. In Spine. January 15, 2010. Vol. 35, No. 2. Pp. 199-205.