Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Scoliosis and BioMed Central.

Open Access Open Badges Research

Long-term results after Boston brace treatment in late-onset juvenile and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

Johan Emil Lange, Harald Steen, Ragnhild Gunderson and Jens Ivar Brox*

Author Affiliations

Orthopaedic and Radiological Department, Rikshospitalet, Oslo University Hospital, Norway

For all author emails, please log on.

Scoliosis 2011, 6:18  doi:10.1186/1748-7161-6-18

Published: 31 August 2011



It is recommended that research in patients with idiopathic scoliosis should focus on short- and long-term patient-centred outcome. The aim of the present study was to evaluate outcome in patients with late-onset juvenile or adolescent idiopathic scoliosis 16 years or more after Boston brace treatment.


272 (78%) of 360 patients, 251 (92%) women, responded to follow-up examination at a mean of 24.7 (range 16 - 32) years after Boston brace treatment. Fifty-eight (21%) patients had late-onset juvenile and 214 had adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. All patients had clinical and radiological examination and answered a standardised questionnaire including work status, demographics, General Function Score (GFS) (100 - worst possible) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) (100 - worst possible), EuroQol (EQ-5D) (1 - best possible), EQ-VAS (100 - best possible), and Scoliosis Research Society - 22 (SRS - 22) (5 - best possible).


The mean age at follow-up was 40.4 (31-48) years. The prebrace major curve was in average 33.2 (20 - 57)°. At weaning and at the last follow-up the corresponding values were 28.3 (1 - 58)° and 32.5 (7 - 80)°, respectively. Curve development was similar in patients with late-onset juvenile and adolescent start. The prebrace curve increased > 5° in 31% and decreased > 5° in 26%. Twenty-five patients had surgery. Those who did not attend follow-up (n = 88) had a lower mean curve at weaning: 25.4 (6-53)°. Work status was 76% full-time and 10% part-time. Eighty-seven percent had delivered a baby, 50% had pain in pregnancy. The mean (SD) GFS was 7.4 (10.8), ODI 9.3 (11.0), EQ-5D 0.82 (0.2), EQ-VAS 77.6 (17.8), SRS-22: pain 4.1 (0.8), mental health 4.1 (0.6), self-image 3.7 (0.7), function 4.0 (0.6), satisfaction with treatment 3.7 (1.0). Surgical patients had significantly reduced scores for SRS-physical function and self-image, and patients with curves ≥ 45° had reduced self-image.


Long-term results were satisfactory in most braced patients and similar in late-onset juvenile and idiopathic adolescent scoliosis.