Bracing

The primary goal of a scoliosis brace is to help slow or completely stop the sideways curve in your spine from curving more than it already has.  The brace is molded to put pressure on the outer edge of your curve and hold your spine in a straighter, unrotated position.  The most important time for brace wear is during periods of rapid growth.  Generally, people with moderate scoliosis wear their brace between 12 and 20 hours a day.  There are several different types of braces for scoliosis. Your doctor will recommend a brace based on your age, stage of growth, and the degree and type of your curve. Each child’s body and curve is unique, so a brace must be specially made for each patient in order to give the straightest possible shape. Bracing extends from below the armpit to the beginning of the pelvic areas in the front and just below the shoulder blade in the back.

Each child’s body and curve is unique, so a brace must be specially made for each patient in order to give the straightest possible shape. Bracing extends from below the armpit to the beginning of the pelvic areas in the front and just below the shoulder blade in the back.

The primary goal of a scoliosis brace is to help slow or completely stop the sideways curve in your spine from curving more than it already has.  The brace is molded to put pressure on the outer edge of your curve and hold your spine in a straighter, unrotated position.  The most important time for brace wear is during periods of rapid growth. Generally, people with moderate scoliosis wear their brace between 12 and 20 hours a day.There are several different types of braces for scoliosis. Your doctor will recommend a brace based on your age, stage of growth, and the degree and type of your curve.

Each child’s body and curve is unique, so a brace must be specially made for each patient in order to give the straightest possible shape. Bracing extends from below the armpit to the beginning of the pelvic areas in the front and just below the shoulder blade in the back.

Typically, there are two treatment options for scoliosis bracing:

  • Full-time bracing : Designed to be worn 12 to 20 hours a day. The goal is to wear them all the time with limited exceptions.
  • Nighttime bracing : Designed to be worn at least 8 hours a night.
When surgery is needed to correct childhood scoliosis, the traditional fusion surgery is an invasive procedure and often involves long recovery times and decreased mobility. For months, and even up to a year after fusion surgery, children may be restricted from many physical activities, such as sports and swimming.

Fusion surgery also doesn’t work well for children who are still growing because it makes large parts of the spine immobile.

Recent surgical advances have led to the development of minimally invasive surgery options (MIS), which allow the surgery to be performed through relatively small incisions.

This significantly reduces the amount of trauma to the patient and allows healing to happen much quicker. A particular kind of minimally invasive scoliosis surgery, vertebral body tethering (VBT), also preserves the growth and function of the child’s spine much more than in fusion surgery.

Bracing is currently the only nonsurgical treatment that has been proven to reduce the natural progression of idiopathic scoliosis curves. Since bracing works best when a child is growing and ends after a child stops growing, this can take a couple of years.