Recommended for curves larger than 25º, but smaller than 45º to 50º in someone who is still growing.
Which kind of brace is right for me?
Your doctor will recommend a brace based on the location and degree of your curve(s), such as:
- Thoracolumbar-Sacral Orthosis (TLSO)—Most effective for mid-back and lower curve, this molded brace is fitted high beneath the arms and close to the skin so it's not obvious under clothes. The less time the brace is worn, the greater risk the patient has for curve progression.
- Night-only Brace—Not commonly prescribed; most effective for moderate, flexible curves.
- Full-torso Brace—Typically prescribed for high curves. A ring around the neck has rests for the chin and the back of the head, and attaches to bars in the front and back of the brace.
Why should I wear this brace?
To stop progression of your curve(s) and, ultimately, avoid a spinal fusion surgery. A 2013 study tested the effectiveness of adolescent brace wear. About 3/4 of the patients who wore a brace had curves that stayed at less than 50º when they were full grown. More than half (58%) of those who did not wear a brace had curves that progressed to 50º or more (Weinstien SL et al., N Engl J Med 2013; 369: 1512).
Does it really matter how many hours a day I wear the brace?
Yes! A 2013 research study used temperature sensors in the braces to track brace wear. Patients who wore the brace for less than 6 hours a day had roughly the same success rate as those patients who did not wear the brace at all! Those who wore the brace more than 13 hours a day had a success rate of 90% or higher.