Supine fulcrum bending test and in-cast correction of Scheuermann juvenile kyphosis

Piotr Janusz, Wioleta Ostiak-Tomaszewska, Mateusz Kozinoga, Tomasz Kotwicki


Background: Patients with Scheuermann disease often require conservative management with a series of corrective casts, followed by anti-kyphotic brace. Flexibility of the kyphosis can be assessed during a supine fulcrum bending test. The aim of the study was to analyze the radiological flexibility of kyphosis and immediate in-cast correction in a series of patients conservatively treated.

Methods: Eighty-six adolescents were conservatively treated for Scheuermann disease of thoracic location. Charts of 55 patients, 39 boys and 16 girls, were accessible. The mean age was 14.6±1.6 years. On the lateral full-cassette standing radiograph, the angle of thoracic and lumbar lordosis were measured. The flexibility of kyphosis was assessed on a supine fulcrum bending lateral radiograph. The in-cast kyphosis angle was measured on a standing lateral radiograph.

Results: In 18 patients, a mild non-progressive scoliotic curvature was present; it did not exceed a Cobb angle measurement of 25°. The initial kyphosis angle was 59.2°±9.3°. The lordosis angle was 76.3°±9.3°. The kyphosis angle on supine fulcrum bending test was 30.4°±9.7°. The kyphosis angle in the reclining cast was 44.3°±12.5°. There was no correlation between age and the supine bending correction. There was a correlation between the correction obtained with the supine bending test and the immediate correction in the cast (r=0.64, p=0.0012).

Conclusions: The reduction of the kyphosis Cobb angle by supine fulcrum bending was 50% on average, while in the cast in standing position, only half of this correction was maintained.


Scheuermann juvenile kyphosis, Scheuermann disease, Fulcrum bending test, Brace, Plaster cast brace

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