Achondroplasia: Effectiveness of an orthosis in reducing deformity of the spine

A. A. Siebens, D. S. Hungerford, N. A. Kirby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Deformity of the spine and its complications have long been accepted as characteristics of achondroplasia. We have sought to prevent these with a spinal orthosis. This report includes a description of the orthosis and an analysis of its use in achondroplastic children and adults. Nineteen dwarfs between 11 and 52 months of age were fitted with a light truncal polyform orthosis. The effect on the thoracolumbar (TL) and lumbosacral curves (LS) in the seated and standing child were compared by measurements made from lateral roentgenograms with and without the orthosis. The group mean reduction in TL curve of the seated dwarfs was 23° (range 2° to 73° ) and the reduction in the LS curve in the standing position was 15° (range 1° to 44°). Seventeen older children aged 4 1/2 to 11 2/3 years were equipped wih an aluminum version of the orthosis. Their TL curve sitting was reduced by a mean of 31° (range 6° to 45° ) and their LS curve standing was decreased by 16° (range 6° to 30°). Thirty-one achondroplastic children and adults were braced for back pain and/or neurologic deficits. Most were relieved of their symptoms to some degree. These and other data lead us to conclude that this form of treatment reduces deformity and alleviates symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-388
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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