The Effect of Obesity on Thoracolumbar Flexion Control of Jewett Hyperextension Brace


  • Koonalinthip N Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital
  • Yotnuengnit P Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand


obesity, spine, orthotic devices, brace


Objectives: To investigate the effect of obesity on thoracolumbar flexion control of Jewett hyperextension brace.

Study design: Experiment study

Setting:  King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand

Subjects: Fifty healthy volunteers

Methods: Volunteers were stratified into obese and non-obese groups. After wearing the prefabricated Jewett hyperextension brace with adjustment performed by a certified prosthetist orthotist (CPO), the lateral plain TL film was done in a standing upright and in a force, trunk bending against the Jewett brace. The lateral Cobb angles from T9 to L3 were measured and the result was the difference of angle between standing and bending.

Results: The obese group had a significantly higher mean flexion angle than the non-obese group in all positions [in an upright position: 9.73 (SD 6.14) and 3.35 (SD 5.32) degrees, p < 0.001; and in the force flexion position: 17.89 (SD 8.09) and 12.80 (SD 6.84) degrees, p = 0.026]. The mean bendable angle after applying the brace were 9.45 (SD 5.80) degrees in the non-obese group and 8.13 (SD 6.53) degrees in the obese group and were not statistically different.

Conclusion: Obese volunteers had a significantly higher truncal flexion angle compared with the non-obese groups in all positions. The Jewett brace could control the spinal flexion movement to less than 10 degrees and not significant different between groups.

Keywords: obesity, spine, orthotic devices, brace


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