The Potential Use of Axial Spinal Unloading in the Treatment of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: A Case Series

Catherine A. Chromy, Michael T. Carey, Kristopher G. Balgaard, Paul A. Iaizzo

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Chromy CA, Carey MT, Balgaard KG, Iaizzo PA. The potential use of axial spinal unloading in the treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: a case series. Objective: To assess potential benefits of axial spinal unloading (LTX 3000 Lumbar Rehabilitation System) over a brief 3-month period. Design: Before-after pilot study. Setting: University research laboratory. Participants: Five adolescent girls with scoliosis. Interventions: Three laboratory sessions: (1) initial baseline, (2) immediately after 3-month treatment period (axial unloading by using LTX 3000 for two 10-minute treatments daily), and (3) 1 month posttreatment. Main Outcome Measures: Initial baseline postural data were obtained from 2 sets of radiographs (standing anteroposterior [AP] and lateral, sitting AP and lateral), back range of motion measurements, and numeric pain scales. The following were assessed: static postural changes; potential functional benefits; and therapeutic compliance. Results: All subjects elicited reductions in lumbar Cobb angles immediately after 3 months of treatment; initial average scoliotic curves of 13.7° were reduced 42% to 8° (α=.05, P=.004). Additionally, such reductions were evident 1 month posttreatment; average original curves were reduced by 27%. Subjects' range of motion and lumbar lengthening were not significantly altered by this therapeutic protocol. Reported subject compliance was high (95%). Conclusions: The LTX 3000 is a potential adjunct therapy for the treatment of adolescent scoliosis. This therapy resulted in curvature reductions and was widely accepted by subjects that were compliant with self-administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1447-1453
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Rehabilitation
  • Scoliosis
  • Traction
  • Treatment effectiveness


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