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Predicting growth and curve progression in the individual patient with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: design of a prospective longitudinal cohort study

Author(s): Busscher Iris | Wapstra Frits | Veldhuizen Albert

Journal: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
ISSN 1471-2474

Volume: 11;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 93;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract Background Scoliosis is present in 3-5% of the children in the adolescent age group, with a higher incidence in females. Treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is mainly dependent on the progression of the scoliotic curve. There is a close relationship between curve progression and rapid (spinal) growth of the patient during puberty. However, until present time no conclusive method was found for predicting the timing and magnitude of the pubertal growth spurt in total body height, or the curve progression of the idiopathic scoliosis. The goal of this study is to determine the predictive value of several maturity indicators that reflect growth or remaining growth potential, in order to predict timing of the peak growth velocity of total body height in the individual patient with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Furthermore, different parameters are evaluated for their correlation with curve progression in the individual scoliosis patient. Methods/design This prospective, longitudinal cohort study will be incorporated in the usual care of patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. All new patients between 8 and 17 years with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (Cobb angle >10 degrees) visiting the outpatient clinic of the University Medical Center Groningen are included in this study. Follow up will take place every 6 months. The present study will use a new ultra-low dose X-ray system which can make total body X-rays. Several maturity indicators are evaluated like different body length dimensions, secondary sexual characteristics, skeletal age in hand and wrist, skeletal age in the elbow, the Risser sign, the status of the triradiate cartilage, and EMG ratios of the paraspinal muscle activity. Correlations of all dimensions will be calculated in relationship to the timing of the pubertal growth spurt, and to the progression of the scoliotic curve. An algorithm will be made for the optimal treatment strategy in the individual patient with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Discussion This study will determine the value of many maturity indicators and will be useful as well for other clinicians treating children with disorders of growth. Since not all clinicians have access to the presented new 3D X-ray system or have the time to make EMG's, for example, all indicators will be correlated to the timing of the peak growth velocity of total body height and curve progression in idiopathic scoliosis. Therefore each clinician can chose which indicators can be used best in their practice. Trial registration number NTR2048
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