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.

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, Brace, Quality of life, Surgery,
European Spine Journal
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bunge, E.M, Juttmann, R.E, de Kleuver, M, van Biezen, F.C, de Koning, H.J, Been, H.D, … Wiegersma, P.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