Nine AIS patients undergoing casting for new braces participated in this pilot study (2 males, 7 females, aged 11-16, Cobb angles 16-44 degrees). An ultrasound scan was used to measure the patient's (baseline) Cobb angle. The orthotist then used a custom standing Providence system to apply corrective pressures - simulating a brace. A second ultrasound scan measured the new (corrected) Cobb angle. The orthotist could then try to achieve additional correction by adjusting the pressure magnitude/location. The process of adjusting pressures and ultrasound scanning repeated two or three times; the orthotist then chose the most satisfactory pressure configuration and performed the actual casting.
The procedure produced 26 individual scans (including baseline scans) from the 9 patients. The magnitude of applied pressures was measured using inflatable air bladders fixed to the Providence pads. The air pressure was measured during the ultrasound scan. The distance between pads was measured and multiplied by the total pressure to create a torque-like measurement.
Robust linear regression was used to relate pressure with Cobb angle correction, and torque with correction. Outlier points were removed if they fell more than 1.5 standard deviations from the regression line. Correlations between pressure/torque and correction were then measured.