Gerben J. Bulthuis, Albert G. Veldhuizen, Gert Nijenbanning

February 2008, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 231 - 239 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-007-0513-9

First Online: 10 October 2007

A prospective cohort study of skeletally immature idiopathic scoliotic patients treated with the TriaC brace. To determine if the TriaC brace is effective in preventing curve progression in immature adolescent idiopathic scoliotic patients with a very high risk of curve progression based on reported natural history data. The aim of the newly introduced TriaC brace is to reverse the pathologic transverse force pattern by externally applied and continuously present orthotic forces. In the frontal plane the force system used in the TriaC brace is similar to the force system of the conventional braces. However, in the sagittal plane the force system acts only on the thoracic region. In addition, the brace allows upper trunk flexibility without affecting the corrective forces during body motion. In a preliminary study it is demonstrated that the brace prevents further progression of both the Cobb angle and axial rotation in idiopathic scoliosis. Skeletally immature patients with idiopathic scoliosis with curves between 20 and 40° were studied prospectively. Skeletally immature was defined as a Risser sign 0 or 1 for both boys and girls, or pre-menarche or less than 1-year post-menarche for girls. Curves of less than 30° had to have documented progression before entry. The mean age of the patients at the start of treatment was 11.3 ± 3.1 years. All measurements were collected by a single observer, and all patients were followed up to skeletal maturity. Treatment was complete for all participants when they had reached Risser sign 4 and did not show any further growth at length measurements. This was at a mean age of 15.6 ± 1.1 years, with a mean follow-up of 1.6 years post bracing. In our study a successful outcome was obtained in 76% of patients treated with the TriaC brace. Comparing our data to literature data on natural history of a similar cohort shows that the TriaC brace significantly alters the predicted natural history. The current study demonstrates that treatment with the TriaC brace reduces the scoliosis, and that the achieved correction is maintained in some degree after skeletal maturity is reached and bracing is discontinued. It also prevents further progression of the Cobb angle in idiopathic scoliosis. The new brace does not differ from the conventional braces as far as maintaining the deformity is concerned.

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