A Danish study evaluated the long-term health-related outcome in patients who were treated at least 25 years ago for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) with either a brace or posterior spinal fusion (PSF). Boston brace treatment had been initiated in those patients with progression of the deformity and curves larger than 30 degrees, among other criteria. Patients with curves larger than 50 degrees at the time of the initial referral or with curve progression despite brace treatment were treated surgically with PSF. The results of the study were published online July 16 in the journal Scoliosis.
Researchers at the Sector for Spine Surgery and Research, Middelfart Hospital, Denmark, invited 219 patients who were treated for AIS as adolescents from 1983 through 1990 with a Boston brace or PSF at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark, to participate in the long-term evaluation study. Eighty-three percent (170) of those invited participated. The Boston brace cohort included 73 participants; the PSF cohort included 97 participants.
A validated Danish version of the Scoliosis Research Society 22R (SRS22R) and Short Form-36 (SF36v1) were administrated to the participants two weeks before a clinical and radiological examination to determine their health-related quality of life (HRQOL).
The HRQOL of the adult AIS patients treated with a Boston brace or PSF during adolescence was similar to the general population. No clinical progression of the deformity was detected during the 25-year follow up period. The SF36 Physical Component Score (PCS) and Mental Component Score (MCS) in both AIS cohorts were similar to the scores for the general population. SRS22R domain scores were within the normal range for the general population with no statistical difference between the groups except in the Satisfaction domain, where the PSF group had a small but statistically significant higher score than the braced group, according to the researchers.