Impaired dynamic balance control in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis and abnormal somatosensory evoked potentials

Miko L.M. Lao, Daniel H.K. Chow, Xia Guo, Jack C.Y. Cheng, Andrew D. Holmes

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Both balance control dysfunction and dysfunction of the central nervous system have been proposed as being causative factors in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), yet the relationship between these factors has not been investigated in detail. An intergroup comparative study was conducted to investigate the effect of abnormal somatosensory function on the dynamic balance parameters of girls with AIS. METHODS: The relationship between dynamic balance control and abnormal somatosensory function seen in AIS patients was examined by studying the dynamic balance parameters in normal controls, in AIS patients with normal posterior tibial nerve somatosensory cortical evoked potentials (PTN-SCEPs), and in AIS patients with abnormal PTN-SCEPs. Gait parameters were recorded in 18 AIS girls (8 showing abnormal PTN-SCEPs and 10 showing normal PTN-SCEPs). Eight healthy age-matched volunteers served as a control group. RESULTS: No significant left-right asymmetry of gait parameters was found for the controls or the AIS patients with normal PTN-SCEPs, whereas significantly higher gait parameters were found on the side of the curvature in the AIS patients with abnormal PTN-SCEPs. CONCLUSIONS: Somatosensory dysfunction in AIS patients shows to have an impact on dynamic balance control. Further studies to examine the association between somatosensory dysfunction and balance control and how they may be related to the etiology of AIS are recommended. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Diagnostic study, level IV (case-control study).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)846-849
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008


  • Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
  • Dynamic balance
  • Gait analysis
  • Somatosensory evoked potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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