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01.10.2013 | Original Clinical Article | Ausgabe 4/2013

Journal of Children's Orthopaedics 4/2013

Review of current technologies and methods supplementing brace treatment in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Children's Orthopaedics > Ausgabe 4/2013
Autoren:
Andrew Chan, Edmond Lou, Doug Hill

Abstract

Purpose

To report on the current technologies and methods supplementing brace treatment in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

Methods

A comprehensive literature review was performed to determine the effectiveness of bracing, to report on imaging techniques that can assist in the assessment of bracing, to understand the roles of the biomechanical treatment concepts on bracing and to address the importance of the quality of life of the brace wearers.

Results

The effectiveness of bracing still remains controversial. Many technologies are still in development to improve the bracing process and quantify the effects of bracing. Imaging techniques with decreased or no radiation are promising in providing more frequent data on curve progression for patients. Computer-assisted design models have been used for both fitting and manufacturing the brace to patient contours. Ultrasound has been developed as a new means of diagnosing scoliosis and determining the effects of a brace on a patient’s spine in real time. The brace treatment outcomes are correlated to the quantity and the quality of brace usage. Compliance monitors and force sensors have been developed to track the quality of brace usage. Improvements to brace wear also require consideration of patient quality of life. Surveys have been developed to describe the effects of family influence and self-image on bracing effectiveness of patient quality of life.

Conclusions

Bracing remains a highly qualitative process, relying on the empirical judgment of the physicians and orthotists, along with buy-in with the patient. The suggested improvements will help to push bracing into a more evidence-based practice.

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