European Spine Journal

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 38–44

Postural imbalance in non-treated adolescent idiopathic scoliosis at different periods of progression

  • Marlene Beaulieu
  • Claire Toulotte
  • Laura Gatto
  • Charles-H. Rivard
  • Normand Teasdale
  • Martin Simoneau
  • Paul Allard
Original Article


The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that imbalance in patients with a severe deformity of the spine is associated with an increase in the sensory integration disorder. This paper is a case comparison study. Patients were divided into three groups: able-bodied (n = 53), observation (n = 23), and pre-brace (n = 26) groups. Time domain parameters (sway area, position and displacement) and structural posturographic parameters [mean distance (MD) and mean peak (MP)] were calculated from the COP excursion using a force platform. A sensory integration disorder could be an important factor in the progression of the scoliotic curve. Significant differences were found in time domain between observation, pre-brace and able-bodied groups. The results for the structural posturographic parameters showed significant differences between the pre-brace and the able-bodied groups (P = 0.018 MD and P = 0.02 MP) demonstrating a perturbation in sensory integration system by an increase of imbalance. The absence of statistical difference between the observation and the pre-brace groups for the structural posturographic parameters indicates a perturbation of sensory integration system associated with curve progression. Our study has demonstrated that the pre-brace group is less stable than the able-bodied group. The severity of scoliosis in pre-brace scoliotic girls could be related to an increase in the sensory integration disorder.


Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis Standing balance Sway density plots Sensory integration 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marlene Beaulieu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Claire Toulotte
    • 3
  • Laura Gatto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Charles-H. Rivard
    • 4
  • Normand Teasdale
    • 5
  • Martin Simoneau
    • 5
  • Paul Allard
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of KinesiologyMontreal UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Motion Research Laboratory, Research CenterSainte-Justine HospitalMontrealCanada
  3. 3.U.F.R., S.T.A.P.S., University of ArtoisLiévinFrance
  4. 4.Division of Orthopedic SurgerySainte-Justine HospitalMontrealCanada
  5. 5.Division of Kinesiology, MedicineLaval UniversityQuebecCanada

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