For treatment of teenagers with progressive adolescent idiopathic scoliosis in an early stage, two options are generally considered: treatment with a brace or observation followed by surgery if necessary. Many doctors and patients prefer conservative treatment (i.e. brace treatment) to surgical treatment, because surgery of the spine is generally considered a drastic intervention. Because potential differences in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) after treatment between braced and surgically treated patients are not well explored, this study aimed to determine whether short-term differences exist in HRQoL between adolescents treated with a brace or treated surgically. A cross-sectional analysis of HRQoL was made of 109 patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis who, after completing treatment, filled out the Dutch SRS-22 Patient Questionnaire. All patients had been treated either with a brace or surgery, or with a brace followed by surgery. Patients treated surgically had significantly higher mean scores in the satisfaction with management domain than those treated with a brace. No other consistent differences in HRQoL were found between patients treated with a brace and patients treated surgically. Gender, curve type and curve size had no relevant effect on HRQoL. We conclude that short-term differences in HRQoL after treatment in adolescent patients with idiopathic scoliosis are negligible and cannot support preference of one treatment above the other.

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European Spine Journal
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bunge, E., Juttmann, R., de Kleuver, M., van Biezen, F., de Koning, H., Been, H., … Wiegersma, A. (2007). Health-related quality of life in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis after treatment: Short-term effects after brace or surgical treatment. European Spine Journal, 16(1), 83–89. doi:10.1007/s00586-006-0097-9