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Untreated Scoliosis Patients Show High Quality of Life

Scores are no different in young adults who were braced or not braced during adolescence

THURSDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In their 30s, patients with moderate idiopathic scoliosis report a good quality of life regardless of whether or not they were braced during adolescence, according to a study in the Jan. 15 issue of Spine.

Aina J. Danielsson, M.D., of Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Göteborg, Sweden, and colleagues assessed quality of life in 40 patients who were only observed because of a curve increase of less than 6 degrees until maturity, and 37 brace-treated patients who had a mean age of 32 years at follow-up.

The researchers found that mean Scoliosis Research Society-22 scores were similar in the braced and untreated groups (4.2 and 4.1, respectively). They also found that Short Form-36 scales in both groups were no different than the Swedish age-matched norm scales.

"This means that the long-term outcome as measured by quality of life was not improved, as compared with the untreated patients with similar curve sizes, by brace treatment during adolescence," the authors write. "The results also confirm that adolescent patients undergoing a sometimes bothersome bracing period still do not experience any reduction in quality of life in the long term."

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