Background: The most important factor discriminating juvenile (JIS) from adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is the risk of deformity progression. Brace treatment can change natural history, even when risk of progression is high. The aim of this study was to compare the end of growth results of JIS subjects, treated after 10 years of age, with final results of AIS.
Design: prospective observational controlled cohort study nested in a prospective database.
Setting: outpatient tertiary referral clinic specialized in conservative treatment of spinal deformities.
Inclusion criteria: idiopathic scoliosis; European Risser 0-2; 25 degrees to 45 degrees Cobb; start treatment age: 10 years or more, never treated before.
Exclusion criteria: secondary scoliosis, neurological etiology, prior treatment for scoliosis (brace or surgery). Groups: 27 patients met the inclusion criteria for the AJIS, (Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis treated in adolescence), demonstrated by an x-ray before 10 year of age, and treatment start after 10 years of age. AIS group included 45 adolescents with a diagnostic x-ray made after the threshold of age 10 years. Results at the end of growth were analysed; the threshold of 5 Cobb degree to define worsened, improved and stabilized curves was considered.
Statistics: Mean and SD were used for descriptive statistics of clinical and radiographic changes. Relative Risk of failure (RR), Chi-square and T-test of all data was calculated to find differences among the two groups. 95% Confidence Interval (CI) , and of radiographic changes have been calculated.
Results: We did not find any Cobb angle significant differences among groups at baseline and at the end of treatment. The only difference was in the number of patients progressed above 45 degrees, found in the JIS group. The RR of progression of AJIS was, 1.35 (IC95% 0.57-3.17) versus AIS, and it wasn't statistically significant in the AJIS group, in respect to AIS group (p = 0.5338).
Conclusion: There are no significant differences in the final results of AIS and JIS, treated with total respect of the SRS and SOSORT criteria, in adolescence. Brace efficacy can neutralize the risk of progression.