Bracing has been prescribed for scoliosis since the 1940s, but the actual benefits of wearing a brace were frequently called into question by concerns about compliance and time.
Now those doubts have been put largely to rest by the BrAIST (Bracing in Adolescents with Idiopathic Scoliosis Trial) study, a prospective randomized clinical trial. According to results published in The New England Journal of Medicine (Oct. 17, 2013), in 75 percent of patients randomly assigned to wearing a brace, curves did not progress to the 50° threshold for surgery at skeletal maturity; among those who did not wear a brace, just 42 percent did not progress to the surgical threshold.
In the first conclusive controlled, randomized clinical trial to evaluate the effect of brace wear on AIS, bracing was found to be effective in preventing curve progression to the threshold for surgery (Cobb angle ≥ 50°) at skeletal maturity.
- In patients randomized to brace wear, 75 percent did not exhibit curve progression to the surgical threshold versus 42 percent in the observation group.
- The trial was halted early when the effectiveness of bracing became conclusively evident; eligible patients who had not worn braces were given the option to wear them.
- Data from temperature sensors that indicated wear time demonstrated that the brace effect has a dose correlation.
Read the full article here: http://www.aaos.org/news/aaosnow/dec13/clinical10.asp