Scoliosis Brace Treatment: Reliability

ScoliosisJournal report that a specific scoliosis classification correlating with brace treatment: description and reliability

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Authors: Manuel D Rigo, Monica Villagrasa and Dino Gallo

Background
Spinal classification systems for scoliosis which were developed to correlate with surgical treatment have historically been used in brace treatment as well. There has previously not been classification systems developed specifically to correlate with brace design and treatment. The purpose of this study is to show the intra- and inter- observer reliability of a new scoliosis classification system correlating with brace treatment.

Methods
A novel classification system ("Rigo Classification") was developed in order to define specific principles of correction required for efficacious brace design and fabrication. The classification includes radiological as well as clinical criteria. The radiological criteria are utilized to differentiate five basic types of curvatures including: (I) imbalanced thoracic (or three curves pattern), (II) true double (or four curve pattern), (III) balanced thoracic and false double (non 3 non 4), (IV) single lumbar and (V) single thoracolumbar. In addition to the radiological criteria, the Rigo Classification incorporates the curve pattern according to SRS terminology, the balance/imbalance at the transitional point, and L4-5 counter-tilting. To test the intra-and inter-observer reliability of the Rigo Classification, three observers (1 MD, 1 PT and 1 CPO) measured (and one of them, the MD, re-measured) 51 AP radiographs including all curvature types.

Results
The intra-observer Kappa value was 0.87 (acceptance >0.70). The inter-observer Kappa values fluctuated from 0.61 to 0.81 with an average of 0.71 (acceptance > 0.70).

Conclusions
A specific scoliosis classification which correlates with brace treatment has been proposed with an acceptable intra-and inter-observer reliability. 

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