Shriners Hospitals for Children - Research Helps Determine Effectiveness of Bracing in Scoliosis
Tampa, Fla. – Bracing in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis reduces the likelihood that the condition will progress to the point that surgery is needed, according to a study published online in the New England Journal of Medicine. The work was supported by Shriners Hospitals for Children® and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Scoliosis is a musculoskeletal disorder that causes an abnormal curve of the spine or backbone, causing the spine to look more like an “S” or a “C” rather than a straight line, typically affecting 1 in 1,000 children. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a curve with no known cause. Mild cases may only need observation by a physician. In more serious cases, especially when the patient is still skeletally immature, other treatments may be needed, such as bracing, or in very severe cases, surgery. However, the effectiveness of bracing for AIS has been in question.
Results of a multi-year study supported by Shriners Hospitals for Children, the National Institutes of Health, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and other organizations recently published in the online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, indicate bracing is effective.
“Knowing – with confidence - that bracing is effective changes the treatment paradigm,” said Matthew Dobbs, M.D., orthopaedic surgeon at Shriners Hospitals for Children – St. Louis, and lead investigator for the Shriners Hospitals’ portion of the study. “We can now say, for a specific patient population with AIS, that we can avoid the need for surgery through bracing.” Continue>
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