The use of dynamic elastomeric fabric orthosis suits as an orthotic intervention in the management of children with neuropathic onset scoliosis: A retrospective audit of routine clinical case notes.
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BACKGROUND: To date the main treatment approach for neuropathic onset scoliosis has utilised thoracic lumbar sacral orthoses (TLSO) to stabilize the spine and enable stable sitting. Dynamic elastomeric fabric orthoses (DEFOs) may achieve both of these aims if used as an early intervention. Due to a lack of evidence in this area, a retrospective audit of case notes was undertaken to understand current orthotic practice investigating the usage, outcomes and clinical characteristics of treated children with neuropathic onset scoliosis. Clinical notes of 180 children at risk for, or identified with, scoliosis were audited using a search matrix to identify diagnostic group, spinal muscle tone, Gross Motor Functional Classification Scale (GMFCS) level, orthotic treatment modalities, scoliosis specific data, surgical interventions, adaptive technologies used, and outcome measurements reported. RESULTS: Of the 180 notes examined, 85 were male; mean age nine years one month [SD four years seven months]. Spinal muscle tone was reported in 137 cases: 122/137 presented as low tone, 4/137 high tone, 6/137 fluctuating tone and 5/137 typical tone. Scoliosis was confirmed in (77/180) of whom (39/77) used a DEFO. Another (43/180) had a spinal curve developing, of whom (22/43) used a DEFO. The remaining (60/180) had no report of spinal curvature, but used a DEFO as a preventative measure. GMFCS scores were reported for 49 children of whom 14/49 were graded as level 4 and 17/49 level 5. Of the children with scoliosis who had spinal curve shapes reported, 48/60 had a C-shape presentation and 12/60 had an S-shape. CONCLUSIONS: The findings confirm previously reported papers in children with neuropathic onset scoliosis in relation to curve shape and GMFCS levels. It provides some evidence of the role DEFOs may have in the management of these children, and highlights the need for further research in this area due to the lack of peer-reviewed publications.
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