Background: Idiopathic adolescent scoliosis (AIS) causes not only spinal deformities but rib cage abnormalities that lead to abnormal volumes and pulmonary capacity on pulmonary function testing (PFT). The objective of this study was to analyze the impact of a physical rehabilitation program on respiratory function in surgical patients with AIS.
Methods: From October 2003 to October 2004, a total of 34 patients (age range, 10 to 18 years) presenting with AIS and a thoracic curvature between 45° and 88° were studied prospectively at a tertiary academic hospital. The patients underwent clinical and radiographic evaluations of the vertebral deformity, chest radiographs, PFT, evaluation of peak expiratory flow, and 6-min walk tests (6MWTs) before and after joining a physical rehabilitation program for 4 months.
Results: An improvement in FVC, inspiratory capacity, FEV1, expiratory reserve volume, and performance assessed by 6MWT were observed after rehabilitation.
Conclusions: Global conditioning improved after the rehabilitation program. This was expressed by both PFT and 6MWT results.