Schroth Scoliosis & Spine Clinic

ApiFix® treatment for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS): Minimal invasive surgery followed by Scoliosis Specific Exercises.A multi-center study in Israel and Greece

Objective: ApiFix was invented in Israel and is an innovative method to treat AIS, which combines a short peri-apical fixation followed by specific physiotherapy. It acts like an “internal brace”. The purpose of the study is to present the first short-term results with the use of ApiFix in Israel and Greece.

Material and Methods: Multi-centre prospective study. 15 females (mean age 15.6 years, Risser 3.4, Cobb 45.9ο) underwent ApiFix operation and Specific Physiotherapy afterwards during the last 2 years. 9 patients operated in Israel (mean age 16.3 years, Risser 3.2, Cobb angle 48.6ο, all thoracic/thoracolumbar curves) and 6 patients in Greece (mean age 15.6 years, Risser 3.7, Cobb 41.8ο, 2 thoracic/thoracolumbar, 1 double major and 3 lumbar curves). The exercise protocol was similar for both countries, designed by BSPTS Schroth certified Physiotherapists.

Results: The statistical analysis revealed an average Cobb reduction of 14.9ο (32.4% correction) for the whole group. Pre/post exercises measurements showed improvement of the initial correction by 3.8ο, better clinical appearance and quality of life measured by the SRS-22 questionnaire (pain, self-image, mental health).Only 1 patient had revision surgery due to an unknown failure of the device.

Conclusions: The ApiFix system offers an alternative treatment option for some AIS patients and it could be the step between conservative and surgical treatment. The present study also proves the key-role of the Scoliosis Specific Exercises, which further improve the end-result. However, longer follow-up is needed to draw safe conclusions about the long-term effects of the ApiFix treatment.

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