100th Anniversary of Schroth Method

#scoliosis

100th Anniversary of Schroth Method

BY Jon W

12 March 2021

It was in 1921 that Katharina Schroth opened her first clinic introducing her new method of treatment for scoliosis which involved specific postural correction, corrective breathing exercises and rehabilitation exercises. Katherina suffered from moderate scoliosis herself and after undergoing treatment with a steel brace which she found heavy and cumbersome, she set about developing her own more functional approach.

Katherina’s grandson, Dr Rudolf Weiss, who is an orthopaedic surgeon, has carried on and expanded on her work developing the Schroth best practice programme and the Cheneau-Gensingen brace. This is an effective, evidence-based conservative treatment for scoliosis.

Dr Weiss will host a virtual conference on 19th and 20th March - The 100th Anniversary of Schroth Treatment – Learning from History. LOC has been working with Dr Weiss since 2017 and our team of Scoliosis specialists are all certified Schroth practitioners. One of the speakers at the conference, Dr Josette Bettany-Saltikov, is Debs Turnbull’s supervisor. Debs is our specialist Schroth physiotherapist and she is gathering evidence for a PhD in the efficacy of our non-surgical treatment.

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To mark the anniversary LOC would like to share several case histories demonstrating how this non-surgical treatment can reduce Cobb angles in juveniles and adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis and reduce pain and improve posture in adults as well.

1. Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

This young lady developed scoliosis during an adolescent growth spurt. Her mother noticed changes to her posture and following her research into the condition came across the scoliosis clinic at LOC. Her curve had progressed rapidly, and her progression factor was indicative of the need for bracing. She began a treatment regime that included Schroth therapy and a Cheneau-Gensingen brace. She managed very well with this regime and due to the nature of her curve, she was able to reduce to part-time bracing soon into her brace wear. Following 9 months of part-time bracing and consistent Schroth therapy, her Cobb angle has been reduced by 50%. Her curve is now minimal, she will be monitored out of brace for 3 months just to check there is no regression. She also had a leg left discrepancy which impacted her curve so this has been treated with foot orthotics which she will continue to wear. A great result and she is thrilled to have made such rapid progress.

More on adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

 

2. Infantile Idiopathic Scoliosis

One of our three-year-old patients with infantile idiopathic scoliosis. He first came to us with a single thoracic curve with a Cobb angle of 30°. He was fitted with a bespoke orthotic brace. After five months of full-time wear and Schroth physiotherapy, his Cobb angle had gone down to 22°. After seven months of part-time wear, his Cobb angle decreased again to 17°. He has responded to bracing treatment incredibly well. He is now 7 years of age, wears his brace for nighttime only and has a Cobb angle of 10° which will be monitored as he grows.

Related Video

An introduction to scoliosis from our own Debs Turnbull

3. Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis

When this female juvenile scoliosis patient came to LOC at the age of six, she had a single thoracic curve with a 30° Cobb angle. She had a bespoke Cheneau- Gensingen brace fitted and after two months of full-time wear and a further four months of 18-hour-per-day wear along with a Schroth physiotherapy programme, her out of brace X-Ray showed that her Cobb angle had reduced to just 5°. She is now out of the brace but continuing with Schroth physiotherapy; her most recent review revealed that her curve was stable and had not regressed.

More on juvenile idiopathic scoliosis

TESTIMONIALS

4. Adult Scoliosis

Sinead is one of our successful adult scoliosis patients who has experienced scoliosis-related back pain since her twenties. Since starting a course of Schroth based physiotherapy and wearing a bespoke Cheneau-Gensingen spinal brace, her rib cage has deteriorated from 16 to 8°, progression has been halted and she reports her pain is reduced.

Above: Sinead's rib hump reduction - Adult Scoliosis

Above: Sinead's rib hump reduction - Adult Scoliosis

More on adult scoliosis

Here’s another of our adult patients, Lady Venetia, describing her experience of treatment at LOC:

Lady Venetia, Adult Scoliosis

5. Male adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

Whilst adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is less common in males, at LOC we do see a number of young adolescent males with scoliosis. This young man was 13 when he first attended LOC. He had a double major curve and his father had noticed asymmetry to his pelvis and shoulder blades. They were keen to act and he began wearing a Cheneau-Gensingen brace immediately. 18 months after wearing a brace, he now uses a brace for overnight wear only and has seen a significant reduction in his curve.

Above: The patient's X-rays before treatment (left) and after treatment (right)

Above: The patient's X-rays before treatment (left) and after treatment (right)

6. End of treatment for one of our first scoliosis patients

Ricarda was one of the first patients we treated with Schroth and Cheneau-GensIngen bracing. She had a thoracic curve of 31°. Her parents wanted to avoid surgery and had searched for alternative options. She was incredibly motivated and really embraced her treatment plan. As she is now fully matured, she has been discharged from wearing her brace and no longer has to follow her Schroth exercise programme. Her Cobb angle at the end of treatment was just 11° and her posture is symmetrical and stable. A great result!

Read more about Ricarda’s scoliosis journey

Above: Ricarda: before treatment (left) and after treatment (right)

Above: Ricarda: before treatment (left) and after treatment (right)

Visual signs of Scoliosis

Visual signs of Scoliosis

FAQs:

The operation used to treat severe scoliosis curves is typically spinal fusion surgery; a major procedure that involves moving muscles and realigning the skeleton into place. The curved, deformed vertebrae are fused together into a single bone, putting metal screws and rods into the spine to help straighten it. Surgery typically lasts between 4 and 8 hours depending on the severity of the curve. Bone graft is then taken from other parts of the body and used to cover the implants.

Following the operation, it is necessary to spend around a week in intensive care before returning home and the first few days are often uncomfortable. Most adolescents can expect to return to school from 2-4 weeks following surgery, but pain medication may be required up to 6 weeks following. A full recovery from the procedure can take up to a year, as it can take that long for the spine to heal fully.

Spinal fusion surgery causes the fused portion of the back to become permanently stiff, as a result, returning to sports that require large amounts of flexibility (ballet, yoga, gymnastics, dance) or contact (rugby, football, karate, hockey) may take longer.

Risks of spinal fusion surgery are like that of any other major procedure and include infection, blood clots and anaesthesia complications. The added risks include permanent nerve damage to the spine and paralysis.

Do you have questions about scoliosis?

 

Watch our scoliosis video FAQs to get quick answers to the most common questions.

Contact LOC for more info and to set up an initial consultation.