Impact of prophylactic thoracolumbosacral orthosis bracing on functional activities and activities of daily living in the pediatric spinal cord injury population

Ross S. Chafetz, Mary Jane Mulcahey, Randal R. Betz, Caroline Anderson, Lawrence C. Vogel, John P. Gaughan, Mary Ann O'Del, Ann Flanagan, Craig M McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background/Objective: The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of a thoracolumbosacral orthosis (TLSO) on children with spinal cord injuries (SCI) in terms of functional independence and time requirements for performance of functional activities and to ascertain the children's preference for TLSO use. Methods: Fourteen subjects with thoracic SCI, ages 6 to 14 years, were studied. All subjects had previously been prescribed and were using a TLSO to prevent the progression of scoliosis. Functional activities included in the Functional Independence Measure and 6 additional wheelchair and transfer skills were scored by level of assistance required. The timed motor test (TMT) included 6 activities involving dressing, transfers, and Wheelchair propulsion. Subjects completed the activities of the functional activities scale (FAS) and TMT while wearing a TLSO and without a TLSO. Subjects were asked their preference for wearing or not wearing the TLSO during each of the activities. Results: For the TMT, subjects were slower with a TLSO when donning a shirt or pants, with even and uneven transfers and hallway propulsion (P < 0.05). The majority of subjects preferred not wearing the TLSO during the TMT activities. Lower functional activity scores were recorded while wearing a TLSO for upper-extremity dressing (P < 0.05), lower-extremity dressing, bladder management, transferring to bed, and reaching for objects on the floor. Subjects preferred not wearing a TLSO for the following activities: lower-extremity dressing, bladder management, reaching for an object on the floor, and transfer from a supine to a sitting position. Conclusions: Wearing a TLSO adversely affected independence level and time requirements for selected functional activities. Subjects preferred not wearing a TLSO while performing the activities. Activities that required hip flexion, such as donning pants or transitioning from a supine to a sitting position were restricted by the TLSO. Future studies with larger sample sizes should explore the relationships between functioning with a TLSO as related to a patient's age, level of injury, and TLSO design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Volume30
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Activities of daily living
  • Adolescence
  • Bracing
  • Child
  • Orthosis
  • Paraplegia
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Tetraplegia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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    Chafetz, R. S., Mulcahey, M. J., Betz, R. R., Anderson, C., Vogel, L. C., Gaughan, J. P., O'Del, M. A., Flanagan, A., & McDonald, C. M. (2007). Impact of prophylactic thoracolumbosacral orthosis bracing on functional activities and activities of daily living in the pediatric spinal cord injury population. Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 30(SUPPL. 1).