Kedar Padhye, MBBS, DNB (Ortho), 1Reza Ojaghi, MD, 2Fábio Ferri-de-Barros, MD, MSc, FSBOT, FSBOP (Hon.), FRCSC, FCS(ECSA),3

1 Clinical Fellow (Pediatric Spine Surgery)Division of Paediatric Surgery, Section of Orthopaedic Surgery, Alberta Children's Hospital, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.
2Orthopaedic Surgery Resident, Department of Orthopedics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario.
3 Department of Orthopedics, Alberta Children's Hospital, Calgary, Alberta.


Abstract: Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) is defined as curvature of spine in the coronal plane with a Cobb angle of more than 10°. AIS affects 1-3% of children younger than 16 years of age. Less than 20% of those children will progress to severe deformity requiring interventions. Screening with clinical examination and selective radiographic assessment seems to be a cost-effective approach to filter specialist referrals but current literature is controversial. Evidence supports brace management of AIS for skeletally immature patients with primary scoliosis measuring 25°–40. The risk reduction for progression to the surgical range (deformity greater than 50 degrees) is 56%. Timely diagnosis and evidence-based brace management of AIS seem likely to reduce the surgical burden. The implementation of screening guidelines at the primary care level is a critical step.
Key Words: scoliosis; idiopathic; Brace treatment; conservative treatment; screening.

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Bracing is an effective but time sensitive intervention for managing AIS in skeletally immature patients with primary scoliosis measuring 25 to 40 degrees.
Clinical screening is required to identify AIS patients who eligible for bracing.
Improving access to bracing for eligible patients requires a collaborative approach involving primary care physicians and specialists.
1. A systematic collaborative approach involving primary care physicians for screening patients and referring to tertiary care ensures timely assessment and management for eligible patients.
2. Evidence supports brace management of AIS for skeletally immature patients with primary scoliosisl measuring 25°–40°, with the goal of preventing deformity progression to the surgical threshold.
3. A full time (18-23h/day) rigid brace treatment may mitigate the surgical burden of AIS by approximately 30%.
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