Do Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) Neglect Proprioceptive Information in Sensory Integration of Postural Control?


  • Assaiante Christine
  • Mallau Sophie
  • Jouve Jean-Luc
  • Bollini Gérard
  • Vaugoyeau Marianne


  • Eyes
  • Shoulders
  • Pelvis
  • Vision
  • Postural control
  • Musculoskeletal system
  • Vibration
  • DEvelopment
  • Adolescents
  • Kinematic analysis

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Introduction It has been reported that AIS rely much more on ankle proprioception to control the amplitude of the balance control commands as compared to age-matched healthy adolescents. Our hypothesis was that AIS do not neglect proprioceptive information to control posture probably because of their vestibular deficits. We investigated the proprioceptive contribution to postural control in AIS which expresses spinal deformity during a crucial transitional period of ontogenesis. Methods 10 adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) with moderate spinal deformity (10° < Cobb Angle >35°) and 10 control adolescents (CA) had to maintain vertical stance while very slow oscillations in the frontal plane (below the detection threshold of the semicircular canal system) were applied to the support with the eyes open and closed. Postural orientation and segmental stabilisation were analysed at head, shoulder, trunk and pelvis levels. Results Scoliosis did not affect vertical orientation control and segmental stabilization strategies. Vision improves postural control in both CA and AIS, which seem more dependent on visual cues than adults. Conclusions AIS as CA were unable to control efficiently their postural orientation on the basis of the proprioceptive cues, the only sensory information available in the EC situation, whereas in the same condition healthy young adults present no difficulty to achieve the postural control. This suggests that AIS as CA transitory neglect proprioceptive information to control their posture. These results and previous studies suggest the existence of different afferent pathways for proprioceptive information subserving different parts in sensory integration of postural control. We conclude that the static proprioceptive system is not affected by the idiopathic scoliosis, while the dynamic proprioceptive system would be mainly affected.

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