Scoliosis Bracing

Your spine specialist may order for your child to wear a brace. Several factors are taken into consideration when making this decision such as the age of your child, type and location of curvature and the amount of growth remaining that is expected.

In general, bracing is recommended for scoliosis that measure between 25 and 40 degrees or progression of a curve 5 degrees for patients who have further growth remaining.

There are different types of braces that are prescribed by our specialists. Below are the types of braces we currently prescribe.

Boston Brace

The Boston Brace is a thoraco-lumbar sacral brace used to treat idiopathic scoliosis. It is made of plastic and it wraps under the arms and around the rib cage, lower back and hips to place the spine in a straighter position. This brace is worn 16 to 23 hours a day. Your specialist will discuss with you about the plan for your child’s bracing.

Boston 3D Brace

This brace is made using a scan of your child’s spine. This is done with a hand-held scanner in an orthotics office.  This allows a more customized fit based on your child’s spine. It allows for a more aggressive treatment of the curvature that the child is able to comfortably wear.

Providence Nighttime Brace

This brace is worn at night for the treatment of scoliosis. The brace applies opposing-force direct pressure on the curve.

Charleston Nighttime Brace

This brace is a side-bending brace worn at night for the treatment of scoliosis. The brace treats the curve by stretching the spine in an over-corrected position.

The Milwaukee Brace

This is a full-torso brace that extends from the base of the skull to the pelvis. The brace incorporates three bars. Two of the bars are place on the back of the brace and one on the front. The brace keeps the spine in alignment and is worn 23 hours a day.

Your specialist will decide which type of brace is appropriate for your child.

Tips for Parents When Bracing is Prescribed

  • You can expect to get the prescription at the doctor’s appointment. You will then need to make an appointment for your child to be fit for the brace at an orthotics office. At the first appointment, they will either do a cast/mold or scanning device to fit your child for their brace. Your child will be able to pick a color and design for their  brace.
  • After two to three weeks of wearing their brace, they will go back to the orthopedic doctor for an in-brace x-ray to ensure a proper fit.
  •  Visits to the orthotist may be frequent while you get the best fit. You’ll have to go back if your child grows taller or wider. Your child may have to get multiple adjustments.
  • Your child may complain of the brace being uncomfortable, or experience some difficulty moving around as they are adjusting to their brace.
  • Pay attention to your child as they enter growth spurts to ensure the brace is fitting properly. If you have any concerns about the brace fitting properly, contact your orthotist.
  • A brace may impact your child’s in-school behavior and physical education.
  • Parents can expect whining, complaining and non-compliance.
  • Some children may try to be sneaky. They may put their brace on in the morning to go to school and then take it off before they get to school. They will but their brace on after  school to make it appear that they have been wearing it all day.
  •  Hug your child often to feel if they are wearing their brace.
  • Some patients may remove their brace as they sleep. They wake  and remove it and then don't remember doing so. If your child does this, make sure to talk to your specialist.

Hints, Tips and Tricks When Living With A Brace

  • Wear a seamless tank under the brace.  Seams can cause those itchy, irritating indentations in the skin.
  • Don't be discouraged by your pant size. You will want to increase all your clothes by 1 or 2 sizes in order to accommodate for your brace
  • Avoid applying lotions, oils or perfumes underneath your brace.
  • If you are a stomach sleeper, you may need to invest in a body pillow for comfort. Sleeping on your stomach can be uncomfortable while wearing your brace.
  • Let your doctor know if you experience tingling or numbness while sitting (for example: in class); your brace may need to be adjusted to fit your legs better.