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Brace treatment (orthosis) is often recommended for increasing scoliosis or kyphosis in the skeletally immature patient. Bracing is recommended for moderate scoliosis or abnormal kyphosis. There are many types of braces, all designed to prevent curves from increasing as the adolescent grows. The orthosis acts as a buttress for the spine to prevent the curve from increasing during active skeletal growth. Braces will not make the spine straight and cannot always keep a curve from increasing. However, bracing is effective in halting progression in a significant percentage of skeletally immature adolescents.
What Does Successful Brace Treatment Require?
- Early detection while the patient is still growing
- Mild to moderate curvature
- Regular examination by the orthopaedic surgeon
- A well-fitted brace that is replaced if the child outgrows it
- A cooperative patient and supportive family
- Maintenance of normal activities, including exercise, dance training, and athletics, with elective time out of the brace for these activities as supervised by the physician.
TLSO Brace for Scoliosis
Nora is 14 years old. She wears a custom TLSO brace for scoliosis. Nora doesn't hide the brace, in fact, her friends have decorated it! She faithfully wears it all day, but she does take it off for field hockey. Prebrace, Nora had a 33 degree thoracic curve and a 40 degree lumbar curve. After eight months her curves are not increasing - the thoracic curve is 33 degrees and the lumbar curve is 35 degrees.
Milwaukee Brace for Kyphosis
Joshua is 14 years old. He wears a Milwaukee brace for kyphosis. He is motivated by the opportunity to avoid surgery. His kyphosis curve measured 71 degrees prebrace. After only 6 months it's been reduced to 49 degrees. A Boy Scout, Joshua is committed to the brace. He even wears it camping and hiking.