PloS one

Schroth Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis-Specific Exercises Added to the Standard of Care Lead to Better Cobb Angle Outcomes in Adolescents with Idiopathic Scoliosis - an Assessor and Statistician Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial.

PMID 28033399


The North American non-surgical standard of care for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) includes observation and bracing, but not exercises. Schroth physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercises (PSSE) showed promise in several studies of suboptimal methodology. The Scoliosis Research Society calls for rigorous studies supporting the role of exercises before including it as a treatment recommendation for scoliosis. To determine the effect of a six-month Schroth PSSE intervention added to standard of care (Experimental group) on the Cobb angle compared to standard of care alone (Control group) in patients with AIS. Fifty patients with AIS aged 10-18 years, with curves of 10°-45° and Risser grade 0-5 were recruited from a single pediatric scoliosis clinic and randomized to the Experimental or Control group. Outcomes included the change in the Cobb angles of the Largest Curve and Sum of Curves from baseline to six months. The intervention consisted of a 30-45 minute daily home program and weekly supervised sessions. Intention-to-treat and per protocol linear mixed effects model analyses are reported. In the intention-to-treat analysis, after six months, the Schroth group had significantly smaller Largest Curve than controls (-3.5°, 95% CI -1.1° to -5.9°, p = 0.006). Likewise, the between-group difference in the square root of the Sum of Curves was -0.40°, (95% CI -0.03° to -0.8°, p = 0.046), suggesting that an average patient with 51.2° at baseline, will have a 49.3° Sum of Curves at six months in the Schroth group, and 55.1° in the control group with the difference between groups increasing with severity. Per protocol analyses produced similar, but larger differences: Largest Curve = -4.1° (95% CI -1.7° to -6.5°, p = 0.002) and [Formula: see text] (95% CI -0.8 to 0.2, p = 0.006). Schroth PSSE added to the standard of care were superior compared to standard of care alone for reducing the curve severity in patients with AIS. NCT01610908.

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