Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)
An International Organization Dedicated to the Education, Research and Treatment of Spinal Deformity
Our Mission is to Foster Optimal Care for All Patients with Spinal Deformities
Brace treatment for idiopathic scoliosis in growing children is an established non-surgical method for reducing the risk of scoliosis progression1-6. Based upon current evidence it is the opinion of the Scoliosis Research Society that bracing reduces the incidence of surgery for scoliosis.
Studies of bracing efficacy have demonstrated that patients who do not wear braces are 3-4 times more likely to require spinal fusion surgery than similar groups of braced patients.2,3 Third party payers should note that bracing for scoliosis is used for prevention of progressive, disabling deformity. Bracing is frequently a medically necessary component of the treatment of scoliosis. Spinal orthoses for scoliosis should not be considered "durable medical equipment" similar to wheelchairs, handrails, hospital beds and other items that may assist in the performance of normal activities of daily living. Third party payers should recognize that bracing for scoliosis is cost effective since it can reduce the need for expensive surgical intervention.
Furthermore, multiple spinal orthoses may be required during the period of growth when scoliosis requires treatment. Restrictions on the number of braces in a year or over several years may have a detrimental effect on the end result of non-operative management for idiopathic scoliosis.
It is in the best interests of patients and also cost-effective for third party payers to provide reimbursement for spinal orthoses when prescribed by the treating physician for the management of idiopathic scoliosis.