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Volume 10 Supplement 1

IRSSD 2014 Meeting Abstracts

  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Improved brace design combining CAD/CAM and finite element simulation for the conservative treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS): preliminary results of a randomized control trial

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Scoliosis201510 (Suppl 1) :O59

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  • Finite Element Modeling
  • Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
  • Cobb Angle
  • Computer Numerical Control
  • Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Patient


In a previous study on 15 AIS patients, we demonstrated the feasibility of a brace design technology combining Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) and finite element modeling (FEM) for the treatment of scoliosis. The braces showed an equivalent correction to standard braces, but were 61% thinner and had 32% less material. A Randomized Control Trial (RCT) was undertaken to pursue the validation and further assess the effectiveness of braces issued from this technology as compared to standard brace design approaches.

Material and methods

Patients who received a brace treatment prescription were randomized into two groups: 1) TLSO (thoraco-lumbo-sacral orthosis) fabricated using a scan of patient's torso and a CAD/CAM approach (Rodin4D) (StandardBrace); 2) TLSO additionally designed using Finite Element Modeling (FEM) built from 3D reconstructions of the trunk skeleton from bi-planar radiographs and optimization (NewBrace). The latter approach allowed to simulate the scoliosis correction and the applied pressures on the torso, and to iteratively design the brace up until the simulated correction was considered maximal and its contact surface with the torso minimal. It was then fabricated using Computer Numerical Controlled technology. StandardBrace and NewBrace effectiveness was assessed using radiographs and compared to the simulations.

Preliminary results

36 patients were consecutively enrolled and to date, 24 patients received their brace. The average Cobb angle prior to bracing was 32° and 30° for the main thoracic and lumbar curves respectively. The preliminary results showed that the NewBrace reduced Cobb angles by 47%, which was simulated with a difference inferior to 5°. The StdBrace reduced the Cobb angles by 40%. The NewBrace had 32% less covering surface than the StdBrace. The highest pressures were located on the thoracic and lumbar regions and at the axillary and the trochanter extensions.

Preliminary conclusion

So far, a novel design scheme combining CAD/CAM and 3D FEM simulation allowed the fabrication of braces more efficient and lighter than standard TLSO. The study is ongoing to fully compare and validate the effectiveness of the novel design platform.




Project funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Rodin4D, Boston Brace and Orthèse-Prothèse Rive-Sud.

Authors’ Affiliations

Polytechnique Montreal, Montreal, Canada
Research Center, Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center, Montreal, Canada
Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada


© Aubin et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.