Growth as a corrective force in the early treatment of progressive infantile scoliosis

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2005 Sep;87(9):1237-47. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.87B9.16124.


This prospective study of 136 children with progressive infantile scoliosis treated under the age of four years, and followed up for nine years, shows that the scoliosis can be reversed by harnessing the vigorous growth of the infant to early treatment by serial corrective plaster jackets. In 94 children (group 1), who were referred and treated in the early stages of progression, at a mean age of one year seven months (6 to 48 months) and with a mean Cobb angle of 32 degrees (11 degrees to 65 degrees), the scoliosis resolved by a mean age of three years and six months. They needed no further treatment and went on to lead a normal life. At the last follow-up, their mean age was 11 years and two months (1 year 10 months to 25 years 2 months), 23 (24.5%) were at Risser stages 4 and 5 and 13 girls were post-menarchal. In 42 children (group 2), who were referred late at a mean age of two years and six months (11 to 48 months) and with a mean Cobb angle of 52 degrees (23 degrees to 92 degrees), treatment could only reduce but not reverse the deformity. At the last follow-up, at a mean age of ten years and four months (1 year 9 months to 22 years 1 month), eight children (19%) were at Risser stages 4 and 5 and five girls were post-menarchal. Fifteen children (35.7%) had undergone spinal fusion, as may all the rest eventually.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Casts, Surgical
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Growth*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Orthotic Devices*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography
  • Scoliosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Scoliosis / physiopathology
  • Scoliosis / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome