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Eur Spine J. 2007 Apr;16(4):537-46. Epub 2006 Sep 5.

Comparative multifactorial analysis of the effects of idiopathic adolescent scoliosis and Scheuermann kyphosis on the self-perceived health status of adolescents treated with brace.

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Orthopaedic Department, General Hospital Agios Andreas, 26224, Patras, Greece.


Bracing is the most effective non-operative treatment for mild progressive spinal deformities in adolescence but it has shown a considerable impact on several aspects of adolescents' functioning. This cross-sectional study investigated the self-perceived health status of adolescents with the two most common deformities, treated with body orthosis. Seventy-nine adolescents with spinal deformities (idiopathic adolescent scoliosis, thoracic Scheuermann kyphosis) and 62 adolescents without spinal deformities were asked to complete the Quality of Life profile for Spine Deformities Instrument. This study showed that adolescents with deformities are significantly less likely to have back pain in training than controls, but more likely to have difficulty in forward bending, and in the most common daily activities while in brace. These individuals claim they wake up because of back pain and feel quite nervous with the external appearance of their body. These patients face often problems with their relations with friends, while they reported difficulties in getting up from bed and sleep at night more often than their counterparts without deformities. As they grow older, patients feel increasing ashamed of their body, as they are more concerned about the future effect of the deformity on their body. As the bracing time increases, patients have much more probability than controls to get low back pain. Girls with deformity have a higher probability than boys to get low back pain while working in the house and while training. Individuals with larger spinal curvatures have more difficulties in bending and increased incidence of back pain than their counterparts with smaller curvatures. Psychological reasons associated mainly with relations at school and back pain are the main causes for low compliance in adolescents with spinal deformities treated with body orthosis. Careful instructions for all individuals who will undergo brace therapy, psychological support for all patients who develop psychological reactions and physical training particularly for older girls should be recommended to increase bracing compliance.

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