Monday, May 1, 2017

URSP Student Olivia Franjie Analyzes the Effectiveness of the Rigo-Cheneau Brace at the National Scoliosis Center

As an intern at the National Scoliosis Center (NSC) in the summer of 2016, I learned a lot about adolescent idiopathic scoliosis through hands on learning, and a lot of research. At the center, almost 95% of conservative treatment for scoliosis (bracing) utilizes the Rigo-Cheneau method. Luke Stikeleather, the President and Chief Orthotist at NSC, preferred this method over others due to its consideration of the 3-dimensional aspect of spinal anatomy. When a new study came out, BrAIST, it concluded that bracing was an effective means of significantly decreasing the progression of high-risk curves to the threshold for surgery in patients. The patients in that study however, wore whichever type of brace they preferred. Though, no research was conducted on which brace was the most effective. It occurred to Luke that the effectiveness of each brace should be known to help patients and their parents make the best decisions in terms of bracing. In order to understand the effectiveness of the Rigo-Cheneau brace itself, this study was derived. On a weekly basis, I am data mining through the NSC database (with IRB approval) to conduct this retrospective study.

Throughout this process, I’ve learned a lot about the importance of effective communication, and the role it plays in research. Research, when properly disseminated, is very important to make effectual decisions. The final step in my work is to publish a paper with my findings that will help adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis make better decisions of choosing which brace to use. I hope this work leads me to help others make better decisions for themselves or their loved ones. I expect this research will be the stepping stone that I need to do more in the healthcare field and, to assist families in need.