The Boston Bracing System for Idiopathic Scoliosis: Follow-up Results in 295 Patients

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A total of 295 patients treated with the Boston bracing system with follow-up of at least 1 year after completion of bracing are reviewed. Pre-brace curves ranged from 20–59° Cobb. Mean age at brace initiation was 13.2 years with a mean treatment time of 2.9 years and mean follow-up of 1.4 years. Mean best in-brace correction averaged 50% with correction averaging 23% at the initiation of weaning from the brace. By the time of brace discontinuance, average curve correction was 15%. At follow-up, average correction was 11 %. A comparison of follow-up with pre-brace values of major curves showed that 49% were unchanged ± 5 °, 39% achieved final correction of 5–15°, 4% achieved final correction of 15° or more, 4% of patients lost 5–15°, and 3% lost more than 15° by the time of follow-up. Eleven percent of patients underwent surgery during the period of bracing; 1% had surgery during follow-up period. Correction and control of major curves with apexes below T8 and above L2 were best. A strong correlation between best, or initial in-brace correction, and follow-up correction was noted. Young age at the initiation of bracing and higher degrees of pre-brace curvature increased the incidence of surgery. Those curves that had corrected most at the end of bracing were most at risk for loss of correction after bracing. Partial compliance with brace wear appeared as effective as full-time wear. Boston braces without superstructure appeared to be as effective as braces with superstructure for curves with apexes below T7.

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