Background. Adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis show a postural instability compared with healthy subjects. Design type. Case control study. Setting. Outpatient clinic of the Complex Operative Unit of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of Policlinico Umberto I Hospital. Population.Thirteen patients (11 females and 2 males, mean age 13-3±1.7 years, mean Cobb angle 32±9, median Risser sign 2) and thirteen healthy adolescents (8 females and 5 males, mean age: 13.0+1.6 years) as age-matched control group wereenrolled. Methods. Postural ability of the participants was assessed with stabilometry (under open eyes and closed eyes conditions), computing sway length, sway ellipse area, and sway velocities. Static and dynamic baropodometry (open eyes only) was used to measure the limb load, and to compute: walking speed, step length, step cadence and step width. The symmetry of left and right limb values was also investigated. Results. Patient's group was characterized by significantly higher postural instability than control group (P<0.05) that decreased with brace in terms of limb load symmetry (-12% in eyes open condition), sway length (-12%), velocity in anteroposterior (-16%) and latero-lateral directions (-10%). Significant correlations were found between the changes occurred when wearing Chêneau brace on load symmetry during standing and those on symmetry of gait (R>0.5, P<0.05). Conclusion and clinical rehabilitation impact. Our results show slight changes in terms of posture when wearing Chêneau brace according with the severity of pathology and significantly affecting gait parameters. For these reasons, use of postural balance evaluation should be objectively used to verify the efficacy of Cheneau brace on body functioning of adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis.
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