Scoliosis is the curvature in the spine from the middle or sideways. It can be seen in children, teenagers and adults. There are many options available for the treatment of Scoliosis but Observation, Braces and Surgery are the most common among them.
Treatment of Scoliosis through bracing is most effective when used in children in whom the curvature is minor. It works by exerting pressure on the back and ribs to push the spine into a straight position.
There are many different types of braces available for the treatment of Scoliosis. The choice of what type of braces should be used for the treatment depends on the type, location and degree of the curve.
Types of Braces
There are three types of braces that are most commonly used for the treatment of Scoliosis
- Boston Brace – This is also known as Thoraco- Lumbo Sacral Orthosis (TLSO). It is an underarm brace which means that it has to be worn under the arms and around the rib cage, lower back and hips. This was developed by Dr. John Hall and Mr. William Miller of the Boston Children’s Hospital in early 1970’s for the treatment of curves in the lumbar (low back) or thoraco – lumbar (mid to low back) of the spine.
- Milwaukee Brace – This is also known as Cervico– Thoraco- Lumbo Sacral Orthosis. It is the most commonly used brace for any type of curve in the spine and especially for high thoracic (mid-back) curves. This was developed by Dr. Walter Blount and Albert Schmidt of the Medical College of Wisconsin and Milwaukee’s Children’s Hospital in 1945.
- Charleston Bending Brace – This is also known as Part-Time Brace. It is recommended for curves that range from 20 to 35 degrees. This was developed by Dr. Frederick Reed and Ralph Hooper in 1979. This brace is only worn at night.
Who should get Braces?
Braces are only used for younger children (10-14 years of age). Most adolescents diagnosed with scoliosis are prescribed bracing treatment if their curve is between 25 and 40 degrees.
Cost of Braces
The cost of a scoliosis brace varies widely depending upon the design, but generally ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. This does not include the cost of the doctor fitting the brace, x-rays taken in the brace, or other associated fees – which, according to research, average around $10,836 annually.
There are many different manufacturers of braces which are used for treatment of scoliosis. MMAR Medical Group Inc. is one of them, and make high quality back brands including Optec, DeRoyal, M-Brace, Ossur, Aspen, Fla Orthopedic, Themoskin, X-Back, Cybertech, Activday and Breg.
To maximize the benefits of Bracing
- Wear the brace everyday and for the full amount of prescribed time
- Take care of the skin daily
- Wear a well-fitted and wrinkle-free brace
- Put on the brace exactly as instructed
- Perform any daily exercise recommended by the doctor
The main objective of bracing is to prevent the curve from progressing as the child grows. If used properly, bracing is very effective in reducing the progress of curves in the spine.
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