Still, today, 80% of the scoliosis cases are known as idiopathic. Since the true cause is unknown, the treatment can only be based on the symptoms. Until now, only two types of treatment have been known to be efficient: the first is the treatment using an orthopaedic rigid brace and the second one is surgery with a spinal system.
In both cases, the therapeutic benefits can unfortunately be associated with non-negligible drawbacks that limit their uses. Because of a better understanding of the risk associated and of the disease evolution, we have seen a shift towards earlier treatment.
The correlation between growth potential of the child, and, more specifically, of the adolescent, and the evolution of the scoliosis has been clearly established. It was demonstrated by Duval-Beaupère and many others [inc. . This means that the earlier the scoliosis appears, the greater the risks of evolution. Lonstein & Carlson analysed the natural evolution of scoliosis in a population of 729 adolescents. They concluded that a child with an angle between 20° and 29° and a Risser of 0,1 or 2, will see his/her scoliosis evolve in 68% of the cases. Stagnara and Clarisse and other authors have named the 30° limit “the critical limit” because, beyond this point, during high velocity growth periods, evolution of the disease is guaranteed.