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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

The effect of compliance to a Rigo System Cheneau brace and a specific exercise programme on idiopathic scoliosis curvature: a comparative study: SOSORT 2014 award winner

LouAnn Rivett*, Aimee Stewart and Joanne Potterton

Author Affiliations

Physiotherapy Department, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Scoliosis 2014, 9:5  doi:10.1186/1748-7161-9-5

Published: 30 May 2014

Abstract

Background

There is controversy as to whether conservative management that includes wearing a brace and exercises is effective in stabilising idiopathic scoliosis curves. A brace only prevents progression of the curve and has been shown to have favourable outcomes when patients are compliant. So the aim of this study was to: determine the effect of compliance to the Rigo System Cheneau (RSC) brace and a specific exercise programme on Idiopathic Scoliosis curvature; and to compare the Quality of Life (QoL) and psychological traits of compliant and non compliant subjects.

Methods

A pre/post test study design was used with a post study comparison between subjects who complied with the management and those who did not. Fifty one subjects, girls aged 12-16 years, Cobb angles 20-50 degrees participated in the study. Subjects were divided into two groups, according to their compliance, at the end of the study. The compliant group wore the brace 20 or more hours a day and exercised three or more times per week. The non-compliant group wore the brace less than 20 hours a day and exercised less than three times per week. Cobb angles, vertebral rotation, scoliometer readings, peak flow, quality of life and personality traits were compared between groups, using the student’s two sample t-test and an analysis of covariance.

Results

The compliant group, wore the brace 21.5 hours per day and exercised four times a week, and significantly improved in all measures compared to non compliant subjects, who wore the brace 12 hours per day, exercised 1.7 times a week and significantly deteriorated (p < 0.0001). The major Cobb angles in the compliant group improved 10.19°(±5.5) and deteriorated 5.52°(±4.3) in the non compliant group (p < 0.0001). Compliant subjects had a significantly better QoL than the non compliant subjects (p = 0.001). The compliant group were significantly more emotionally mature, stable and realistic than the non compliant group (p = 0.03).

Conclusions

Good compliance of the RSC brace and a specific exercise regime resulted in a significant improvement in curvatures, poor compliance resulted in progression/deterioration. A poorer QoL in the non compliant group possibly was caused by personality traits of the group, being more emotionally immature and unstable.

Keywords:
Adolescent Idiopathic scoliosis; Spinal deformity; Spinal curvature; Compliance; Quality of life; Personality traits; RSC brace; Scoliosis exercise