Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)
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
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Infantile Scoliosis

Bracing

If the curve is progressive, and your child is still growing, the doctor may want to place your child in a cast or brace. This is contingent upon the flexibility of the curve, as determined by x-rays. If the curve is rigid and does not correct (get smaller) on the bending films, a brace will do little good. Rarely does a brace permanently correct scoliosis; instead the goal of bracing is to allow the child to grow before a more definitive procedure (surgery) is done. It must be re-emphasized that the purpose of the brace is to slow the inevitable progression of the curve, not to correct the curve.

The brace that your doctor prescribes depends on your child's age and the center you visit. There are several types of braces, which typically have the same success rates, but your doctor will select one based on his/her experience with the different devices. The Kallabis brace has several straps that are applied over the shoulder and bend the child in the opposite direction of the curve (Figure 1). The Wilmington brace is a custom-molded thoracolumbosacral orthosis that has molds to push and correct the curve (Figure 2). The Boston brace is similar, but uses pads inside the brace to push the curve. The Milwaukee brace, one of the first braces developed for scoliosis treatment, is less popular today due to its design, which can include an extension to the chin. Your doctor will probably recommend that your child wear the brace fulltime. Braces are generally removed for bathing and special occasions. As your child grows, new braces will need to be fabricated, approximately every twelve to eighteen months.

A child being effectively treated with a Kallabis brace. Back view of young girl in Wilmington brace.
Figure 1: A child being effectively treated with a Kallabis brace. Figure 2: Back view of young girl in Wilmington brace.