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Open Access Research

Assessment of angle velocity in girls with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

Ferran Escalada1*, Ester Marco1, Esther Duarte1, Josep Ma Muniesa1, Roser Boza1, Marta Tejero1 and Enric Cáceres2

Author Affiliations

1 Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Hospital de l'Esperança, Institut Municipal d'Assistència Sanitària, Barcelona, Spain

2 Orthopaedic Surgery Department, Hospital de l'Esperança, Institut Municipal d'Assistència Sanitària, Barcelona, Spain

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Scoliosis 2009, 4:20  doi:10.1186/1748-7161-4-20

Published: 16 September 2009

Abstract

Background

Although it has been demonstrated that the peak height velocity (PHV) is a predictive factor of progression in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), little is known about the usefulness of angle progression in clinical practice. The purpose of this study was to establish a relationship between height and angle velocities, as well as to determine if peak angle velocity (PAV) occurs at the same time than PHV.

Methods

A retrospective study of a cohort of girls with idiopathic scoliotic curves greater than 10°. Data of 132 girls who participated in a previous retrospective study about growth in AIS were used to calculate height and angle velocities. Relationship between height and angle velocities was estimated by the use of a Linear Mixed Model.

Results

PHV and PAV take place simultaneously 1 year before menarche in progressive curves managed with a brace in AIS. Changes in angle velocity are influenced by changes in height growth velocity, in such a way that as from 6 months post-menarche, height growth velocity in this group of girls estimates curve progression velocity (β-coefficient -0.88, p = 0.04).

Conclusion

As from 6 months post-menarche, there is an inverse relationship between height velocity and curve progression in the group of AIS girls with progressive curves managed with a brace. Because height velocity is decreasing from 1 year before menarche, this finding corroborates that at the end of puberty, there is still a risk of progression in this group of girls despite bracing. The assessment of both height and angle velocity might be useful in clinical practice at the time of assessing brace effectiveness and how long bracing has to be indicated.