Brace technology thematic series: the dynamic derotation brace
1 Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, "Tzanio" General Hospital - NHS, Tzani & Afendouli str, 18536, Piraeus, Greece
2 Scoliosis & Spine Unit of "KAT" Orthopaedic Hospital, Athens, Greece
3 The South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre, Denbies Wing, Epsom General Hospital, Dorking Road, Epsom, KT18 7EG, United Kingdom
Scoliosis 2010, 5:20 doi:10.1186/1748-7161-5-20Published: 21 September 2010
The dynamic derotation brace (DDB) was designed in Greece in 1982, as a modification of the Boston brace. It is a custom-made, underarm spinal orthosis featuring aluminium blades set to produce derotating and anti-rotating effects on the thorax and trunk of patients with scoliosis. It is indicated for the non-operative correction of most curves, barring the very high thoracic ones, (when the apex vertebra is T5 or above). The purpose of this article is to familiarize physicians with the DDB, analyze the rationale behind its design, and present the published results of its application.
Description & Principles
The key feature of the DDB is the addition of the aluminium-made derotating blades posteriorly. These function as a force couple, which is added to the side forces exerted by the brace itself. Corrective forces are also directed through pads. One or more of previously proposed pathomechanical models of scoliosis may underline the corrective function of the DDB: it may act directly on the apical intervertebral disc, effecting correction through the Heuter-Volkman principle; the blades may produce an anti-rotatory element against the deforming "spiral composite muscle trunk rotator"; or it may alter the neuro-motor response by constantly providing new somatosensory input to the patient.
Based on measurements of the Cobb and Perdriolle angles, up to 82% of patients remained stable or improved with the use of the DDB. Results have varied, though, depending on the type/location of the deformity. The overall results showed that 35% of the curves improved, 46% remained stable and 18% became worse, as assessed by measuring the Cobb angle. The DDB has also been shown to improve cosmesis (except for right thoracic curves) and leave several aspects of patient quality of life unaffected during use.
Conservative treatment of idiopathic scoliosis using the DDB has shown favorable results. Thoracic curves appear more resistant to both angular and rotatory correction. The published outcome data on the DDB support our belief that the incorporation of aluminium blades to other orthoses would likely improve their efficacy.