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Continuing Medical Education Self-Assessment Questions Vol. 50, No. 1 - January 2014. Actual evidence in the medical approach to adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis
European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
123 - 124
authors' names in alphabetical order
Idiopathic scoliosis (IS) is a three-dimensional deformity of the spine and trunk. The most common form involve ado- lescents (AIS). The prevalence for AIS is 2-3% of the population, with 1 out of 6 patients requiring treatment of which 25% progress to surgery. Physical and rehabilitation medicine (PRM) plays a primary role in the so-called conservative treatment of adolescents with AIS, since all the therapeutic tools used (exercises and braces) fall into the PRM domain. According to a Cochrane systematic review there is evidence in favor of bracing, even if it is of low quality. Another shows that there is evidence in favor of exercises as an adjunctive treatment, but of low quality. Three meta-analysis have been published on bracing: one shows that bracing does not reduce surgery rates, but studies with bracing plus exercises were not included and had the highest effectiveness; another shows that full time is better than part-time bracing; the last focuses on observational studies following the SRS criteria and shows that not all full time rigid bracing are the same: some have the highest effectiveness, others have less than elastic and nighttime bracing. Two very important RCTs failed in recruitment, showing that in the field of bracing for scoliosis RCTs are not accepted by the patients. Consensuses by the international Society on Scoliosis Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Treatment (SOSORT) show that there is no agree- ment among experts either on the best braces or on their biomechanical action, and that compliance is a matter of clinical more than patients' behavior (there is strong agreement on the management criteria to achieve best results with bracing). A systematic review of all the existing studies shows effectiveness of exercises, and that auto-correction is the main goal of exercises. A systematic review shows that there are no studies on manual treatment. Research on conservative treat- ment of AIS has continuously decreased since the 1980s, but this trend changed only recently. The SOSORT Guidelines offers the actual standard of conservative care.
continuous medical education, self-assessment, multiple choice questions, adolescents, idiopathic scoliosis, management
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