Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: Increased Body Mass Associated with Decreased Bracing Outcomes


Bracing reduces the need for surgical intervention in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). However, bracing outcomes with variable body mass index (BMI) are understudied. The authors sought to determine the association of BMI with bracing outcomes. The authors performed a retrospective cohort study of 104 patients presenting with AIS. Initial Risser score, hours of bracing per day, BMI percentile, and curve magnitude pre- and postbracing were collected. There was no detectable difference between years of brace wear or primary curve magnitude at time of presentation between both groups. Overall, 29% (25/87) of underweight/normal weight patients and 59% (10/17) of overweight/obese patients had curves ≥ 45 degrees at the end of bracing (p = 0.016). Odds of having a curve ≥ 45 degrees after bracing were 3.5 (95% confidence interval: 1.2 to 10.3, p = 0.021) times higher for overweight/obese patients compared with underweight/normal weight patients. Increased overlying adipose tissue may reduce the corrective forces required to straighten the spine. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 33(1):029-032, 2024)

Key words: adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, bracing, obesity, body mass index, pediatric orthopaedics

Adam Margalit, MD; Krishna V. Suresh, MD; Daniel Badin, MD; R. Jay Lee, MD; and Paul D. Sponseller, MD, MBA