Skip to main content
  • Oral presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

Long-term outcome after Boston brace treatment in adolescent idiopatic scoliosis


The objective of this study was to evaluate the long-term outcome in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) 12 years or more after treatment with the Boston brace.


Few studies have evaluated long-term outcome after bracing by using validated quality of life outcomes.

Materials and methods

  1. 110

    (78%) of 140 (7 men) patients with AIS treated with the Boston brace 12-28 years previously responded to a long-term follow-up examination. Patients were evaluated either by clinical and radiological examination (n = 66), postal questionnaire, or telephone interview. All patients answered a standardized questionnaire including demographics, work status, treatment, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) (100-worst possible), General Function Score (GFS) (100- worst possible), EuroQol (EQ-5D (1 - best possible), EQ-VAS (100- best possible)) and Scoliosis Research Society -22 (SRS-22) (5 - best possible).


The mean magnitude of the pre-treatment major curve was 33.2° (range 20° - 52°) (n = 110). Upon ending bracing treatment after an mean of 2.9 years (0.5 - 9.3 years), and at the last follow-up, a mean of 19.8 years (12 - 28 years) after weaning, the corresponding values were 28.5° (9° -56°) (n = 110), and 34.0° (8° - 87°) (n = 66) respectively. Even if the average progression of the major curve after weaning was 5.5° (-7° - 44°), the long time follow-up compared with the pre-treatment value was -0.6° (-21° - 36°) (n = 66). The mean age at follow-up was 36 years (29- 46 years). Work status was the following: full time (80%), on sick-leave (3%), on rehabilitation (4%), disability pension (4%), homemaker (7%), students (2%), changed job because of back pain (7%). 58% were educated at the university level, 77% were married or living together, 88% had children, 55% had pain in pregnancy. 28% had taken physiotherapy for back pain during the last year, and 12% had visited a doctor. Global back status was excellent or good in 81%. Mean ODI 6.4 (SD 9.8), mean GFS 5.4 (10.5), mean EQ-5D 0.84 (0.2), SRS-pain 4.2 (0.8), SRS-mental health 4.2 (0.7), SRS-self-image 3.9 (0.7), SRS-function 4.1 (0.6), SRS-satisfaction with treatment 3.7 (1.0).


Long-term results were satisfactory in most patients with AIS treated with the Boston brace.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to JI Brox.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is 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.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lange, J., Steen, H. & Brox, J. Long-term outcome after Boston brace treatment in adolescent idiopatic scoliosis. Scoliosis 4 (Suppl 2), O40 (2009).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: