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1.  Reviewer acknowledgement 2014 
Scoliosis  2015;10:7.
Contributing reviewers
The Editor of Scoliosis would like to thank all our reviewers who have contributed to the journal in Volume 9 (2014).
PMCID: PMC4336484
2.  Surgical management of moderate adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with ApiFix®: a short peri- apical fixation followed by post-operative curve reduction with exercises 
Scoliosis  2015;10:4.
Surgery in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a major operative intervention where 10–12 vertebrae are instrumented and fused. A smaller motion preserving surgery would be more desirable for these otherwise healthy adolescents. The ApiFix® system is a novel less invasive short segment pedicle screw based instrumentation inserted around the apex of the main curve. The system has a ratchet mechanism that enables gradual postoperative device elongation and curve correction. The ratchet is activated by performing specific spinal exercises. The unique features of the device allow curve correction without fusion. The system which has a CE approval was employed in adolescents with main thoracic curves.
More than a dozen of ApiFix surgeries have been performed so far. The preoperative Cobb angle was 45° ± 8, and 25° ± 8 at final follow up. The following is a report on three adolescent females aged 13–16 years with curves between 43°-53° and Risser sign of 1–4 who underwent surgery with ApiFix®. Two pedicle screws were inserted around the curve apex and the ratchet based device with polyaxial ring connectors was attached to the screws. No fusion attempt was made. Operative time was around one hour. Two weeks after surgery the patients were instructed to perform Schroth like daily exercises with the aim of rod elongation and gradual curve correction. Patients were followed between 6 months to 2 years. Curves were reduced and maintained between 22- 33°. Patients were pain free and were able to perform their spinal exercises. Postoperative gradual elongation of the device was observed. No screw loosening or rod breakage were observed. No adding on or curve progression was seen.
Three factors may contribute to the ApiFix® success: polyaxial connections that prevent mechanical failure, gradual curve correction by spinal motion and spinal growth modulation. The ApiFix® system allows managing moderate AIS with a simple and minor surgical intervention. Recovery is rapid with negligible motion loss. It allows gradual and safe curve correction with high patient satisfaction. It may also serve as an internal brace for AIS.
PMCID: PMC4328564
Moderate AIS; Main thoracic curve; Short fixation; Correction with exercises
3.  Mechanism of right thoracic adolescent idiopathic scoliosis at risk for progression; a unifying pathway of development by normal growth and imbalance 
Scoliosis  2015;10:2.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is regarded as a multifactorial disease and none of the many suggested causal etiologies have yet prevailed. I will suggest that adolescent idiopathic scoliosis has one common denominator, namely that initial curve development is mediated through one common normal physiological pathway of thoracic rotational instability. This is a consequence of gender specific natural growth of the passive structural components of thoracic spinal tissues for the adolescent female. This causes an unbalanced mechanical situation, which progresses if the paravertebral muscles cannot maintain spinal alignment. The alteration in the coronal plane with the lateral curve deformity is an uncoupling effect due to a culmination of a secondary, temporary sagittal plane thoracic flattening and of a primary, temporary transverse plane rotational instability for the adolescent female. Treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis should address this physiological pathway and the overall treatment strategy is early intervention with strengthening of thoracic rotational stability for small curve adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.
PMCID: PMC4318446  PMID: 25657814
4.  The surgical management of scoliosis: a scoping review of the literature 
Scoliosis  2015;10:1.
Scoping reviews are innovative studies that can map a range of evidence to convey the breadth and depth of a large field. An evidence-based approach to the wide spectrum of surgical interventions for scoliosis is paramount to enhance clinical outcomes. The objectives of this scoping review were to identify critical knowledge gaps and direct future research.
This study was completed according to the methodology of Arksey and O’Malley. Two reviewers performed duplicate systematic screening of eligibility. Studies were classified according to patient age, scoliosis etiology, outcomes reported, study design, and overall research theme.
There were 1763 eligible studies published between 1966 and 2013. The literature focused on adolescents (83% of studies) with idiopathic scoliosis (72%). There was a dominance of observational designs (88%), and a paucity of randomized trials (4%) or systematic reviews (1%). Fifty six percent of studies were conducted in North America, followed by 23% in Europe and 18% in Asia. Few high-level studies investigated surgical indications, surgical approaches, surgical techniques, or implant selection. Patient important outcomes including function, health-related quality of life, pain, and rates or re-operation were infrequently reported.
Current research priorities are to (1) undertake high-quality knowledge synthesis and knowledge translation activities; (2) conduct a series of planning meetings to engage clinicians, patients, and methodologists; and (3) clarify outcome reporting and strategies for methodological improvement. Higher-quality studies are specifically needed to inform surgical indications, surgical approaches, surgical techniques, and implant selection. Engaging global partners may increase generalizability.
PMCID: PMC4307902  PMID: 25628756
Scoliosis; Spinal deformity; Scoping review; Systematic review; Clinical epidemiology
5.  Reliability and validity study of measurements on digital photography to evaluate shoulder balance in idiopathic scoliosis 
Scoliosis  2014;9(1):23.
To determine the validity of digital photography as an evaluation method for shoulder balance (ShB) in patients with idiopathic scoliosis.
Material and methods
A total of 80 patients were included (mean age 20.3 years; 85% women). We obtained a full x-ray of the vertebral column and front and back clinical photography for all patients. For antero-posterior x-rays we measured the proximal thoracic curve angles (CPT). To evaluate radiological shoulder balance we calculated the clavicle-rib intersection angle (CRIA) and T1-tilt. For clinical photography we measured shoulder height angle (SHA), axilla height angle (AHA) and the left right trapezium angle (LRTA). We analyzed the reliability of the different photographic measurements and the correlation between these and the radiological parameters.
The mean magnitude of PTC, CRIA and T1-tilt were 19°, −0.6° and 1.4° respectively. Mean SHA from the front was −1.7°. All photographic measurements revealed an excellent-near perfect intra and inter-observer reliability in both photographic projections. No correlation was found between the ShB and the magnitude of the PTC. A statistically significant correlation was found between clinical balance of the shoulders and radiological balance (r between 0.37 and 0.51).
Digital clinical photography appears to be a reliable method for objective clinical measurement of ShB. The correlation between clinical and radiological balance is statistically significant although moderate/weak.
PMCID: PMC4269069  PMID: 25520746
Cosmetic; Idiopathic scoliosis; Photography; Shoulders balance
6.  Emotional indicators in young patients with Idiopathic Scoliosis: a study through the drawing of Human Figure 
Scoliosis  2014;9(1):24.
Investigating Health Related Quality of Life (HRQL) is considered determinant in patients with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) in clinical as in research field. The aim of the present study is to explore the most relevant aspects of personality of the patients with AIS and its relationship with HRQL.
50 patients (mean age = 16 years) were given a socio-demographic data questionnaire, the Human Figure Drawing (HFD) and SRS (Scoliosis Research Society) -22.
In Subtotal SRS-22, patients presented a mean value of 3.9. In HFD, half of these patients presented physical and/or emotional tensions with reference to the shoulders and almost all of them did not show any expression of aggressiveness. No relationship between personality and HRQL was confirmed. The older the patients were, the more body tension was discovered as well as the more concerns about their bodies they showed to have. There was also a correlation between growing old and a decreasing in Mental Health. Previous conservative treatment did not show any impact on personality or on HRQL.
Patients with AIS suffer stress and general concern more frequently with the increase of age. We suggest an appropriate supportive treatment for this type of patients.
PMCID: PMC4267456  PMID: 25516766
7.  Rasterstereographic measurement of scoliotic deformity 
Scoliosis  2014;9(1):22.
Back surface topography has gained acceptance in recent decades. At the same time, the motivation to use this technique has increased. From the view of the patient, the cosmetic aspect has played and still plays a major role as it provides a comprehensive documentation of cosmetic impairment. From the view of the medical practitioner, the aspect of reducing X-ray exposures in diagnosis and follow-up has been dominant and still prevails. Meanwhile, new aspects have emerged: due to the consequent three-dimensional view of the scoliotic condition, treatment success can be visualized convincingly. Clinical diagnosis is supported by information otherwise not supplied by X-rays, such as when functional examinations and diagnostic tests are recorded.
Like rasterstereography, most techniques of actual back surface measurement refer to photogrammetry and the triangulation method. However, with respect to the particular clinical application, a wide spectrum of implementations exists. Applications in a clinic require high accuracy of measurement in a short time and comprehensive analysis providing data to be used to supplement and compare with radiographic data. This is exemplified by rasterstereography; the procedures of surface analysis and localization of landmarks using curvatures and the reconstruction of the spinal midline will be described.
Orthopaedic relevance
Based on rasterstereographic analysis, different geometrical measures that characterize the back surface are given and underlying skeletal structures described. Furthermore, in analogy to radiological projection, a 3-D reconstruction of the spinal midline is visualized by a frontal and lateral projection, allowing comparison with pertinent X-rays.
Surface topography and, in particular, rasterstereography provide reliable and consistent results that may be used to reduce X-ray exposure. Unfortunately, the correlation of shape parameters with the radiological Cobb angle is poor. However, the wealth of additional applications substantially enhances the spectrum of clinical value.
PMCID: PMC4268794  PMID: 25520745
Back surface; Scoliosis; Rasterstereography; Photogrammetry; Curvature map; Symmetry line; Anatomical landmarks; Shape analysis; Cobb angle
8.  A health economic evaluation of screening and treatment in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis 
Scoliosis  2014;9(1):21.
Summary of background data
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis can progress and affect the health related quality of life of the patients. Research shows that screening is effective in early detection, which allows for bracing and reduced surgical rates, and may save costs, but is still controversial from a health economic perspective.
Study design
Model based cost minimisation analysis using hospital’s costs, administrative data, and market prices to estimate costs in screening, bracing and surgical treatment. Uncertainty was characterised by deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses. Time horizon was 6 years from first screening at 11 years of age.
To compare estimated costs in screening and non-screening scenarios (reduced treatment rates of 90%, 80%, 70% of screening, and non-screening Norway 2012).
Data was based on screening and treatment costs in primary health care and in hospital care settings. Participants were 4000, 12-year old children screened in Norway, 115190 children screened in Hong Kong and 112 children treated for scoliosis in Norway in 2012. We assumed equivalent outcome of health related quality of life, and compared only relative costs in screening and non-screening settings. Incremental cost was defined as positive when a non-screening scenario was more expensive relative to screening.
Screening per child was € 8.4 (95% CrI 6.6 to10.6), € 10350 (8690 to 12180) per patient braced, and € 45880 (39040 to 55400) per child operated. Incremental cost per child in non-screening scenario of 90% treatment rate was € 13.3 (1 to 27), increasing from € 1.3 (−8 to 11) to € 27.6 (14 to 44) as surgical rates relative to bracing increased from 40% to 80%. For the 80% treatment rate non-screening scenario, incremental cost was € 5.5 (−6 to 18) when screening all, and € 11.3 (2 to 22) when screening girls only. For the non-screening Norwegian scenario, incremental cost per child was € -0.1(−14 to 16). Bracing and surgery were the main cost drivers and contributed most to uncertainty.
With the assumptions applied in the present study, screening is cost saving when performed in girls only, and when it leads to reduced treatment rates. Cost of surgery was dominating in non-screening whilst cost of bracing was dominating in screening. The economic gain of screening increases when it leads to higher rates of bracing and reduced surgical rates.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13013-014-0021-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4298059  PMID: 25601889
Cost minimisation analysis; Scoliosis screening; Scoliosis treatment; Health related quality of life
9.  Rib index 
Scoliosis  2014;9(1):20.
This article analyzes the double rib contour sign (DRCS) and the rib index (RI). The analyzed topics are 1. the history of presentations – publication of DRCS-RI, 2. the study source origin: school screening for idiopathic scoliosis (IS), 3. what the DRCS and the RI are– Description, 4. the quantification of the DRCS – RI, 5. a reliability study for RI 6. how much the rib index is affected by the distance between the radiation source and the irradiated individual, 7. the implications on IS aetiology, 8. the applications of Rib index for a. documentation of the deformity, b. assessment of physiotherapy, c. assessment of brace treatment and d. pre- and post-operative assessment; assessment of the rib-cage deformity correction on the transverse plane, 9. the use of RI and implications for screening policies 10. the reference of the RI method in spinal textbooks and finally 11. the citations in Google Scholar.
PMCID: PMC4310037  PMID: 25635184
10.  Supine to standing Cobb angle change in idiopathic scoliosis: the effect of endplate pre-selection 
Scoliosis  2014;9:16.
Supine imaging modalities provide valuable 3D information on scoliotic anatomy, but the altered spine geometry between the supine and standing positions affects the Cobb angle measurement. Previous studies report a mean 7°-10° Cobb angle increase from supine to standing, but none have reported the effect of endplate pre-selection or whether other parameters affect this Cobb angle difference.
Cobb angles from existing coronal radiographs were compared to those on existing low-dose CT scans taken within three months of the reference radiograph for a group of females with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Reformatted coronal CT images were used to measure supine Cobb angles with and without endplate pre-selection (end-plates selected from the radiographs) by two observers on three separate occasions. Inter and intra-observer measurement variability were assessed. Multi-linear regression was used to investigate whether there was a relationship between supine to standing Cobb angle change and eight variables: patient age, mass, standing Cobb angle, Risser sign, ligament laxity, Lenke type, fulcrum flexibility and time delay between radiograph and CT scan.
Fifty-two patients with right thoracic Lenke Type 1 curves and mean age 14.6 years (SD 1.8) were included. The mean Cobb angle on standing radiographs was 51.9° (SD 6.7). The mean Cobb angle on supine CT images without pre-selection of endplates was 41.1° (SD 6.4). The mean Cobb angle on supine CT images with endplate pre-selection was 40.5° (SD 6.6). Pre-selecting vertebral endplates increased the mean Cobb change by 0.6° (SD 2.3, range -9° to 6°). When free to do so, observers chose different levels for the end vertebrae in 39% of cases. Multi-linear regression revealed a statistically significant relationship between supine to standing Cobb change and fulcrum flexibility (p = 0.001), age (p = 0.027) and standing Cobb angle (p < 0.001). The 95% confidence intervals for intra-observer and inter-observer measurement variability were 3.1° and 3.6°, respectively.
Pre-selecting vertebral endplates causes minor changes to the mean supine to standing Cobb change. There is a statistically significant relationship between supine to standing Cobb change and fulcrum flexibility such that this difference can be considered a potential alternative measure of spinal flexibility.
PMCID: PMC4193912  PMID: 25342959
11.  A shallow chest correlates with the aortic position in the normal spine: features resembling those observed in structural scoliosis 
Scoliosis  2014;9:14.
Right thoracic curvature, rib cage deformities and aortic left shift are features of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis that are correlated with each other. We recently reported that disturbance of ribcage development results in progressive thoracic scoliosis in mice. Recently, it has been confirmed that the normal spine exhibits right thoracic curvature and rib cage deformities and that these deformities worsen during the adolescent period. The purpose of this study was to examine whether rib cage deformities correlate with thoracic side curvature in the normal spine, as observed in scoliosis, which is important basic knowledge needed to elucidate the causative factors of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.
To examine the relationship between rib cage deformities and thoracic side curvature in the normal spine, CT scans of 148 consecutive adult females were examined. The anteroposterior chest dimension, aortic location and rib cage rotation were measured on CT scans obtained at the T8 level. The thoracic side curvature (T5-T12) was also measured on chest radiographs.
The anteroposterior chest dimension exhibited a significant correlation with aortic left shift. The aortic location and rib cage rotation were correlated, and the rib cage rotation and thoracic side curvature were correlated.
There was a significant correlation between a shallow chest and the aortic position, between the aortic position and the rib cage rotation and between the rib cage rotation and the thoracic side curvature in the normal spine. These findings suggest the possibility that rib cage development is one of the causative factors of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.
PMCID: PMC4152277  PMID: 25183992
Scoliosis; Rib cage deformity; Aorta; Shallow chest
12.  Evaluation of implant loosening following segmental pedicle screw fixation in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: a 2 year follow-up with low-dose CT 
Scoliosis  2014;9:13.
The long term radiological status of screw fixation following scoliosis surgery with all pedicle screw construct is not previously studied.
To evaluate the incidence of loosening (implant failure) evaluated with low-dose CT two years following scoliosis surgery.
Study design
Retrospective study.
81 consecutive patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), aged 18 ± 3 years at 2 years follow-up (83% were female), subjected for scoliosis corrective surgery with all pedicle screw construct (total of 1666 screws) has been examined with plain radiography and with low dose CT 6 weeks and 2 years postoperatively.
In 26 out of 81 (32%) patients there were signs of loosening of one or more screws, a maximum 3 screws. 47 out of 1666 (2.8%) screws showed evidence of loosening. Preoperative Cobb angle was 56° among patients with loosening compared with 53° among patients with no evidence of loosening (P = 0.288). In males there were signs of loosening in 8 out of 14 (57%) and in females 18 out of 67 (27%), (P = 0.027). Among cases with loosening, 14% had suboptimal screw placement at the first postoperative CT compared with 11% among patients with no evidence of loosening (P = 0.254). One patient with a loosened L4 screw had neurological deficit and subjected for revision of the construct. Out of 26 patients with evidence of loosening, 5 patients reported minor pain or discomfort, 1 patient had a minor proximal junctional kyphosis of about 15° and 3 patients showed evidence of pull-out of 3–5 mm at the upper end of the construct but no clinical complaint. With plain radiography loosening could be observed only in 11 out of 26 cases, 5 were in the lumbar region.
In a consecutive series of 81 cases with AIS who had underwent scoliosis surgery, one third showed, 2 years after the intervention, minor screw loosening. Males were more prone to develop screw loosening. In CT system that enables low-dose protocol, CT is recommended for the evaluation of evidence of screw loosening.
PMCID: PMC4149778  PMID: 25177357
13.  Low rate of surgery in juvenile idiopathic scoliosis treated with a complete and tailored conservative approach: end-growth results from a retrospective cohort 
Scoliosis  2014;9:12.
Background context
The main distinctive aspect of Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis (JIS) with respect to Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) is the high risk of severe deformity and surgery. Approximately 70% of curves in patients with JIS progress and ultimately require surgery. There are presently very few studies with long-term follow-up of JIS and even fewer looking specifically at bracing Purpose To verify the effectiveness of a complete conservative treatment, including bracing and exercises, for JIS.
Study design/setting
Retrospective cohort observational study nested in a clinical prospective database of consecutive outpatients. Patient Sample Inclusion criteria: JIS, no previous treatment, all consecutive radiographies available from treatment start to end of growth (Risser sign 3). We found 30 patients, 27 females, 10 JIS type 1; mean age at first diagnosis was 7.8 +/-1.5 and mean treatment lasted 5.8 years. Cobb degrees 24.4+/-10 degrees, with 7 cases >30 degrees, and 2 > 45degrees. Outcome Measures Physiological measures. Radiographic and clinical data.
Treatment (exercises alone, or elastic-rigid-highly rigid braces plus exercises) was tailored and continuously changed according to Cobb degrees, individual preferences, anthropometric characteristics, pubertal spurt, remaining growth, rotation, hump, lumbar curve take-off, and imbalance. The SOSORT Guidelines for patients’ management have been followed. Funding and Conflict of Interest: no.
33.3% (95% Confidence Interval 16.4-50.2%) of patients worsened over the years. At the end of growth, 6.6% (0–15.5%) had surgical deformities (>45degrees). We observed a good correction in the first years of treatment until pubertal growth spurt, when progression was usually noted and treatment changed increasing corrective forces (hours or rigidity of bracing). 23 cases were followed up until they had two consecutive radiographies showing Risser sign 5 and showed stability.
Conservative treatment initiated already in childhood may favorably change the natural history of JIS with the aim of reaching a curve as far as possible from surgical thresholds. Observation, physical exercises, braces can be useful tools in the hand of physicians, but they must be carefully utilized by a deep knowledge of JIS.
PMCID: PMC4149041  PMID: 25177356
14.  The radiographic method for evaluation of axial vertebral rotation – presentation of the new method 
Scoliosis  2014;9:11.
The objective of this study is to present a new radiographic method for the assessment of vertebral rotation from an antero-posterior view of conventional X-rays which is sufficiently precise in comparison with radiographic methods presently used in clinical practice (methods of Nash-Moe and Perdriolle). This method is based on the properties of the geometric shape of vertebrae and their shared dimensional proportions. It means that the relation between vertebral body width and height doesn’t change significantly within the entire thoracic and lumbar sections of the spine. In order to verify the method, we have constructed a special device for vertebral fixation. Subsequently, the X-ray pictures of individual human vertebrae with predefined rotation values (ranging from 0 degrees to 45 degrees by steps of 3 degrees) were radio-graphically measured and then compared with their actual axial rotation on the vertebral rotation device. All arithmetic averages correlate very closely with the actual values. The verification of axial vertebral rotation with the assistance of CT and MRI pictures of six scoliotic patients (in supine position) and the evaluation of axial vertebral rotation by both the new radiographic method and with the Perdriolle method proved the satisfactory accuracy of our method. The main advantage of the newly presented radiographic method is the uncomplicated measurement of vertebral rotation from AP projection of conventional X-ray pictures or from its printed copies. The gold standard of the new radiographic method is the evaluation of axial rotation of vertebrae to 30 degrees approximately and the shape of vertebral bodies without severe structural deformities. The new radiographic method seems to be suitable for use in clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC4130697  PMID: 25120581
Axial vertebral rotation; Radiographic method; X-ray of spine; Vertebral rotation device
15.  Evaluation of an apparatus to be combined with a smartphone for the early detection of spinal deformities 
Scoliosis  2014;9:10.
Mobile smartphones are equipped with inclinometers enabling them to acquire angular clinical measures. The Scolioscreen has been developed in conjunction with a smartphone APP to enable the measure of the angle of trunk inclination (ATI) thus offering a convenient and reliable means to measure and screen for spinal deformities. The objective was to compare the reliability and accuracy of a Scolioscreen-smartphone combination, a smartphone alone, and a Scoliometer, for measuring the angle of trunk inclination in spinal deformities under blinded conditions for intra- and inter-observer analyses.
A cohort of 39 patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis were recruited. Each had maximum ATI measured by 3 observers: attending spine surgeon, nurse, and parent presenting with patient. Two series of measurements were performed by each observer using Scolioscreen-smartphone, smartphone alone and Scoliometer. Intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) from two-way mixed model based on absolute agreement were used to assess intra- and inter-observer reliability as well as consistency between measurement techniques.
Intra- and inter-observer reliability for measuring maximum ATI was 0.94-0.89 with Scolioscreen-smartphone, decreased to 0.89-0.75 for smartphone alone, and was 0.95- 0.89 for Scoliometer. Considering Scoliometer measurement taken by surgeon the gold standard, there was excellent consistency with measurements from Scolioscreen-smartphone taken by surgeon (ICC = 0.99), nurse (ICC = 0.95), and parent (ICC = 0.91). Conversely, consistency decreased when surgeon (ICC = 0.86), nurse (ICC = 0.86) and parent (ICC = 0.85) used smartphone alone.
Study shows the Scolioscreen-smartphone to overcome limitations associated with ATI measurements using smartphones alone. The Scolioscreen-smartphone provides a reliability and consistency similar to the gold standard (use of Scoliometer by spine surgeon) and enables a parent to take reliable measurements on their own thus offering an accessible and convenient tool for all to use.
PMCID: PMC4113777  PMID: 25075208
Scoliosis; Early detection; Screening; Smartphone; Angle of trunk inclination; Diagnosis
16.  Evaluation of coronal shift as an indicator of neuroaxial abnormalities in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: a prospective study 
Scoliosis  2014;9:9.
In previous studies, many indicator factors have been proposed to select patients who need an MRI screening of the spinal canal. In current study, the clinical and radiologic factors including coronal parameters of the curve were evaluated to find out which indicator is more important.
A prospective study included 143 consecutive patients with the diagnosis of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis who were treated between 2010 and 2013 at our spinal clinics. Only patients with normal or subtle neurologic findings were included. All patients were evaluated by a total spine MRI protocol for examination of neuroaxial abnormalities. Known indicators and also coronal shift were analysed in all patients with or without abnormal MRI.
The incidence of neuroaxial abnormalities was 11.9% (17 of 143); only 5 patients (3.5%) were operated to treat their neuroaxial problem. The significant indicators of the abnormalities in our patients were: younger age at onset, asymmetric superficial abdominal reflex and, coronal shift more than 15 mm (P = 0.03). Some previously known indicators like atypical curves, male gender, double curves and absence of thoracic lordosis were not different between two groups of the patients.
A total spine MRI is recommended at presentation in patients with younger age, abnormal neurologic findings and severe coronal shift.
PMCID: PMC4112843  PMID: 25071863
Scoliosis; Chiari malformation; Magnetic resonance imaging; Syringomyelia
17.  Lumbosacral fixation using sacroiliac buttress screws: a modification to the Jackson technique with intrasacral rods 
Scoliosis  2014;9:8.
The use of intrasacral rods has been previously reported for posterior lumbosacral fixation. However, problems associated with this technique include poor stability of the rod in the sacrum, difficulty in contouring the rod to fit the lateral sacral mass, and the complicated assembly procedure for the rod and pedicle screws in the thoracolumbar segments after insertion of the rod into the sacrum.
We used a screw with a polyaxial head instead of an intrasacral rod, which was inserted into the lateral sacral mass and assembled to the rod connected cephalad to pedicle screws. The dorsal side of the screw was stabilized by the sacral subchondral bone at the sacroiliac joint with iliac buttress coverage, and the tip of the screw was anchored by the sacral cortex.
Three different cases were used to illustrate lumbosacral fixation using intrasacral screws as an anchor for the spinal instrumentation. Effective resistance of flexural bending moment and fusion were achieved in these patients at the lumbosacral level.
An intrasacral screw can be stabilized by subchondral bone with iliac buttress coverage at the dorsal and ventral sacral cortex. Posterior spinal fusion with this screw technique enables easier assembly of the instrumentation and presents better stabilization than that provided by the previously reported intrasacral rod technique for correction and fusion of thoracolumbar kyphoscoliosis.
PMCID: PMC4104723  PMID: 25050132
Posterior lumbosacral fixation; Lateral sacral mass; Iliac buttress; Intrasacral screw; Surgical technique
18.  In favour of the definition "adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis": juvenile and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis braced after ten years of age, do not show different end results. SOSORT award winner 2014 
Scoliosis  2014;9:7.
The most important factor discriminating juvenile (JIS) from adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is the risk of deformity progression. Brace treatment can change natural history, even when risk of progression is high. The aim of this study was to compare the end of growth results of JIS subjects, treated after 10 years of age, with final results of AIS.
Design: prospective observational controlled cohort study nested in a prospective database. Setting: outpatient tertiary referral clinic specialized in conservative treatment of spinal deformities. Inclusion criteria: idiopathic scoliosis; European Risser 0–2; 25 degrees to 45 degrees Cobb; start treatment age: 10 years or more, never treated before. Exclusion criteria: secondary scoliosis, neurological etiology, prior treatment for scoliosis (brace or surgery). Groups: 27 patients met the inclusion criteria for the AJIS, (Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis treated in adolescence), demonstrated by an x-ray before 10 year of age, and treatment start after 10 years of age. AIS group included 45 adolescents with a diagnostic x-ray made after the threshold of age 10 years. Results at the end of growth were analysed; the threshold of 5 Cobb degree to define worsened, improved and stabilized curves was considered. Statistics: Mean and SD were used for descriptive statistics of clinical and radiographic changes. Relative Risk of failure (RR), Chi-square and T-test of all data was calculated to find differences among the two groups. 95% Confidence Interval (CI) , and of radiographic changes have been calculated.
We did not find any Cobb angle significant differences among groups at baseline and at the end of treatment. The only difference was in the number of patients progressed above 45 degrees, found in the JIS group. The RR of progression of AJIS was, 1.35 (IC95% 0.57-3.17) versus AIS, and it wasn't statistically significant in the AJIS group, in respect to AIS group (p = 0.5338).
There are no significant differences in the final results of AIS and JIS, treated with total respect of the SRS and SOSORT criteria, in adolescence. Brace efficacy can neutralize the risk of progression.
PMCID: PMC4100036  PMID: 25031608
19.  Correlation between compliance and brace treatment in juvenile and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: SOSORT 2014 award winner 
Scoliosis  2014;9:6.
Over the last years, evidence has accumulated in support of bracing as an effective treatment option in patients with idiopathic scoliosis. Yet, little information is available on the impact of compliance on the outcome of conservative treatment in scoliotic subjects. The aim of the present study was to prospectively evaluate the association between compliance to brace treatment and the progression of scoliotic curve in patients with idiopathic adolescent (AIS) or juvenile scoliosis (JIS).
Among 1.424 patients treated for idiopathic scoliosis, 645 were eligible for inclusion criteria. Three outcomes were distinguished in agreement with the SRS criteria: curve correction, curve stabilization and curve progression. Brace wearing was assessed by one orthopaedic surgeon (LA) and scored on a standardized form. Compliance to treatment was categorized as complete (brace worn as prescribed), incomplete A (brace removed for 1 month), incomplete B (brace removed for 2 months), incomplete C (brace removed during school hours), and incomplete D (brace worn overnight only). Chi square test, T test or ANOVA and ANOVA for repeated measures tests were used as statistical tests.
The results from our study showed that at follow-up the compliance was: Complete 61.1%; Incomplete A 5.2%; Incomplete B 10.7%; Incomplete C 14.2%; Incomplete D 8.8%. Curve correction was accomplished in 301/319 of Complete, 19/27 Incomplete A, 25/56 Incomplete B, 52/74 Incomplete C, 27/46 Incomplete D. Cobb mean value was 29.8 ± 7.5 SD at beginning and 17.1 ± 10.9 SD at follow-up. Both Cobb and Perdriolle degree amelioration was significantly higher in patients with complete compliance over all other groups, both in juvenile, both in adolescent scoliosis. In the intention-to-treat analysis, the rate of surgical treatment was 2.1% among patients with definite outcome and 12.1% among those with drop-out. Treatment compliance showed significant interactions with time.
Curve progression and referral to surgery are lower in patients with high brace compliance. Bracing discontinuation up to 1 month does not impact on the treatment outcome. Conversely, wearing the brace only overnight is associated with a high rate of curve progression.
PMCID: PMC4080685  PMID: 24995038
Compliance; Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis; Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; PASB brace; Conservative treatment
20.  The effect of compliance to a Rigo System Cheneau brace and a specific exercise programme on idiopathic scoliosis curvature: a comparative study: SOSORT 2014 award winner 
Scoliosis  2014;9:5.
There is controversy as to whether conservative management that includes wearing a brace and exercises is effective in stabilising idiopathic scoliosis curves. A brace only prevents progression of the curve and has been shown to have favourable outcomes when patients are compliant. So the aim of this study was to: determine the effect of compliance to the Rigo System Cheneau (RSC) brace and a specific exercise programme on Idiopathic Scoliosis curvature; and to compare the Quality of Life (QoL) and psychological traits of compliant and non compliant subjects.
A pre/post test study design was used with a post study comparison between subjects who complied with the management and those who did not. Fifty one subjects, girls aged 12-16 years, Cobb angles 20-50 degrees participated in the study. Subjects were divided into two groups, according to their compliance, at the end of the study. The compliant group wore the brace 20 or more hours a day and exercised three or more times per week. The non-compliant group wore the brace less than 20 hours a day and exercised less than three times per week. Cobb angles, vertebral rotation, scoliometer readings, peak flow, quality of life and personality traits were compared between groups, using the student’s two sample t-test and an analysis of covariance.
The compliant group, wore the brace 21.5 hours per day and exercised four times a week, and significantly improved in all measures compared to non compliant subjects, who wore the brace 12 hours per day, exercised 1.7 times a week and significantly deteriorated (p < 0.0001). The major Cobb angles in the compliant group improved 10.19°(±5.5) and deteriorated 5.52°(±4.3) in the non compliant group (p < 0.0001). Compliant subjects had a significantly better QoL than the non compliant subjects (p = 0.001). The compliant group were significantly more emotionally mature, stable and realistic than the non compliant group (p = 0.03).
Good compliance of the RSC brace and a specific exercise regime resulted in a significant improvement in curvatures, poor compliance resulted in progression/deterioration. A poorer QoL in the non compliant group possibly was caused by personality traits of the group, being more emotionally immature and unstable.
PMCID: PMC4055379  PMID: 24926318
Adolescent Idiopathic scoliosis; Spinal deformity; Spinal curvature; Compliance; Quality of life; Personality traits; RSC brace; Scoliosis exercise
21.  SOSORT 2012 consensus paper: reducing x-ray exposure in pediatric patients with scoliosis 
Scoliosis  2014;9:4.
This 2012 Consensus paper reviews the literature on side effects of x-ray exposure in the pediatric population as it relates to scoliosis evaluation and treatment. Alternative methods of spinal assessment and imaging are reviewed, and strategies for reducing the number of radiographs are developed. Using the Delphi technique, SOSORT members developed consensus statements that describe how often radiographs should be taken in each of the pediatric and adolescent sub-populations.
PMCID: PMC4002921  PMID: 24782912
22.  Brace treatment in juvenile idiopathic scoliosis: a prospective study in accordance with the SRS criteria for bracing studies - SOSORT award 2013 winner 
Scoliosis  2014;9:3.
The Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis by age of onset, severity and evolutivity is source of great doubts concerning the purpose and use of conservative treatment. The different clinical experiences leave unsolved the question that arises in applying a conservative treatment when the patients are effectively forward a long growing period, in scoliosis characterized by inevitable evolutivity. The purpose of the present prospective study was to determine the effectiveness of conservative treatment in Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis.
From 1238 patients treated for idiopathic scoliosis between 1995 and 2012 fulfill the inclusion criteria 163 patients treated with PASB, Lyon brace and Milwaukee. Of these, 113 patients had a definite outcome, 27 have abandoned treatment e 23 are still in treatment. The minimum follow-up was 24 months. Radiographs were used to estimate the curve magnitude (CM) and the torsion of the apical vertebra (TA) at 5 time points: beginning (t1), 6 months after the beginning (t2), intermediate time between t1 and t4 (t3), end of weaning (t4), 2-years minimum follow-up (t5). Three outcomes were distinguished in agreement with SRS criteria: correction, stabilization and progression.
The results from our study showed that of the 113 patients with a definite outcome CM mean value was 29.6 ± 7.5 SD at t1 and 16.9 ± 11.1 SD at t5. TA was 13.5 ± 5.4 SD at t1 and 8.5 ± 5.6 at t5. The variations between CM t5-t1 and TA t5-t1 were statistically significantly different. Curve correction was accomplished in 88 patients (77.8%), stabilization was obtained in 18 patients (15.9%). 7 patients (6.19%) have a progression and 4 of these were recommended for surgery. Of 26 patients who abandoned the treatment, at the time of abandonment (12.5 age) have achieved curve correction in 19 cases (70.0%), stabilization in 5 cases (19%) and progression in 3 cases (11%). Of these patients, reviewed at the end of growing, four have been operated on.
Our study confirmed that conservative treatment with brace is highly effective in treating juvenile idiopathic scoliosis, in particular most patients reaching a complete curve correction and only 4.9% of patients need surgery.
PMCID: PMC4016774  PMID: 24817906
Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis; Scoliosis research society criteria (SRS); PASB brace; Lyon brace; SOSORT guidelines; Conservative treatment
23.  Brace modifications that can result in improved curve correction in idiopathic scoliosis 
Scoliosis  2014;9:2.
Background and aim
The purpose of this paper is to share with scoliosis professionals the X-rays of different pad placement levels associated with improved curve correction in a case of idiopathic scoliosis (IS). Scoliosis braces of all types and brands utilize common principles of construction that ensure good fit and function. Equally important to the end result is good patient follow-up care and brace quality control by the orthotist.
Design and methods
This report reviewed the case of an 11-year-old girl diagnosed with IS, focusing on the in and out-of-brace x-rays, as well as the fit and function of the braces. The first brace was a TLSO-type, the second a Cheneau-type brace using a B1 model following the Rigo classification of scoliosis.
The first TLSO-type brace presented an in-brace X-ray that showed a curve increase. The Cheneau-type scoliosis brace reduced the Cobb angles over 50%.
The biomechanical changes consequent to modifications in brace design and pad placements appeared to have improved the scoliosis and reduced the Cobb angles in this case. An orthotist must provide optimal fit and function of the brace which was prescribed by the referring physician. Adherence to certain basic design principles, and close follow up by the orthotist-especially during growth spurts - are critical to its effectiveness. Specifically, a skilled orthotist must be experienced with the particular brace-type, apply these principles, maintain a good working relationship with both physician and patient to ensure timely brace adjustments essential to continued brace comfort and efficacy.
PMCID: PMC3996032  PMID: 24593984
Scoliosis brace failures; TLSO brace; Cheneau-Rigo brace; Pad placements
24.  A correlation study between in-brace correction, compliance to spinal orthosis and health-related quality of life of patients with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis 
Scoliosis  2014;9:1.
It has been proposed that in-brace correction is the best guideline for prediction of the results of brace treatment for patients with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS). However, bracing may be a stressful experience for patients and bracing non-compliance could be psychologically related. The purpose of this study was to assess the correlation between brace compliance, in-brace correction and QoL of patients with AIS.
Fifty-five patients with a diagnosis of AIS were recruited. All were female and aged 10 years or above when a brace was prescribed, none had undergone prior treatment, and all had a Risser sign of 0–2 and a Cobb angle of 25-40°. The patients were examined in three consecutive visits with 4 to 6 months between each visit. The Chinese translated Trunk Appearance Perception Scale (TAPS), the Chinese translated Brace Questionnaires (BrQ) and the Chinese translated SRS-22 Questionnaires were used in the study. The in-brace Cobb angle, vertebral rotation and trunk listing were also measured. Patients’ compliance, in-brace correction and patients’ QoL were assessed. To identify the relationship among these three areas, logistic regression model and generalized linear model were used.
For the compliance measure, a significant difference (p = 0.008) was detected on TAPS mean score difference between Visit 1 and Visit 2 in the least compliant group (0–8 hours) and the most compliant group (17–23 hours). In addition, a significant difference (p = 0.000) was detected on BrQ mean score difference between Visit 2 and Visit 3 in the least compliant group (0–8 hours) and the most compliant group (17–23 hours). For the orthosis effectiveness measure, no significant difference was detected between the three groups of bracing hours (0–8 hours, 9–16 hours, 17–23 hours) on in-brace correction (below 40% and 40% or above). For the QoL measure, no significant difference was detected between the two different in-brace correction groups (below 40% and 40% or above) on QoL as reflected by the TAPS, BrQ and SRS-22r mean scores.
The results showed a positive relationship between patients’ brace wear compliance and patients’ QoL. Poor compliance would cause a lower QoL.
PMCID: PMC3996075  PMID: 24559234
Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis; In-brace correction; Compliance; Quality of life
25.  Postoperative pain relief using intermittent intrapleural analgesia following thoracoscopic anterior correction for progressive adolescent idiopathic scoliosis 
Scoliosis  2013;8:18.
Thoracoscopic anterior scoliosis instrumentation is a safe and viable surgical option for corrective fusion of progressive adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) and has been performed at our centre on 205 patients since 2000. However, there is a paucity of literature reporting on or examining optimum methods of analgesia following this type of surgery. A retrospective study was designed to present the authors’ technique for delivering intermittent local anaesthetic boluses via an intrapleural catheter following thoracoscopic scoliosis surgery; report the pain levels that may be expected and any adverse effects associated with the use of intrapleural analgesia, as part of a combined postoperative analgesia regime.
Records for 32 patients who underwent thoracoscopic anterior correction for AIS were reviewed. All patients received an intrapleural catheter inserted during surgery, in addition to patient-controlled opiate analgesia and oral analgesia. After surgery, patients received a bolus of 0.25% bupivacaine every four hours via the intrapleural catheter. Patient’s perceptions of their pain control was measured using the visual analogue pain scale scores which were recorded before and after local anaesthetic administration and the quantity and time of day that any other analgesia was taken, were also recorded.
28 female and four male patients (mean age 14.5 ± 1.5 years) had a total of 230 boluses of local anaesthetic administered in the 96 hour period following surgery. Pain scores significantly decreased following the administration of a bolus (p < 0.0001), with the mean pain score decreasing from 3.66 to 1.83. The quantity of opiates via patient-controlled analgesia after surgery decreased steadily between successive 24 hours intervals after an initial increase in the second 24 hour period when patients were mobilised. One intrapleural catheter required early removal due to leakage; there were no other associated complications with the intermittent intrapleural analgesia method.
Local anaesthetic administration via an intrapleural catheter is a safe and effective method of analgesia following thoracoscopic anterior scoliosis correction. Post-operative pain following anterior thoracic scoliosis surgery can be reduced to ‘mild’ levels by combined analgesia regimes.
PMCID: PMC3842798  PMID: 24238280
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; Thoracoscopic anterior spinal fusion; Anterior fusion; Intrapleural analgesia; Endoscopic anterior surgery; Pain relief; Scoliosis surgery

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