Use of Aquaplast in the Management of Congenital Scoliosis


Our patient was a 2 year, 9 month old girl with progressive infantile idiopathic scoliosis. When first seen in orthopaedics at B.C.'s Children's Hospital at 8 months of age, her curve measured 56 degrees and was reduced to 35 degrees in a TLSO. Despite revisions and adjustments to the bracing, her curve progressed to 88 degrees in the brace by the age of 2 years, 3 months. She was then managed in a series of plaster body casts in which her curve was reduced to 40-450.

In order to permit swimming and bathing over the summer, a request was made for an Aquaplast body brace which would be removable. This was fabricated in the O.R. with the child under general anesthetia. Bony prominences including the apex of the curve were padded and a sheet of heated Aquaplast was molded completely around the trunk. Shoulder straps were added. Corrective forces were applied until the material cooled. It was then cut off the child who was sent to the Recovery Room while the finishing was done on the brace. X-rays have shown an acceptable correction of the curve in the range of 60-65 degrees.

The child has worn this orthosis full-time except for bathing. Originally it was intended to be for a short-term relief between plaster casts, but its success has led to provision of a second one to accommodate growth, rather than returning to plaster.

The spinal curve has not progressed in the 9 months of wearing the Aquaplast orthosis.

British Columbia Children's Hospital. 4480 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC Canada V6H 1VA