Advanced Brace Designs PLUS Regular Physician Supervision
A system of Scoliosis Bracing that really works!
I see many cases of children that have been subjected to years of wearing outdated scoliosis braces, AND have had little or no supervision or modification of the brace as their spine has developed. These children have unfortunately seen their curves continue to progress. Conventional Scoliosis braces and standard orthotist prescribing are not designed to correct curves; a traditional scoliosis brace will attempt to hold the spine in place so the curve doesn’t get any worse. The orthopedist will use these old technology bracing systems to reduce progression while the child matures to the point their spinal bones are solid enough to hold the rods and screws of a major spinal fusion surgery. They don’t believe the brace can be effective at reducing scoliosis because reduction is not their goal. If you go and see a dentist, are you surprised he wants to drill your teeth? If you take your scoliosis to an orthopedic surgeon, you should not expect anything other than a recommendation of surgery… either now, or after enough skeletal maturity has occurred to have the spinal bones support the metal implants.
The goal of scoliosis bracing is to reduce forces acting upon the spine to discourage the vertebrae from twisting further. It attempts to do this by reducing the forces of gravity acting upon those vertebrae. However, the main source of pressure and force acting upon the bones of the spine is not gravity, but the intrinsic core musculature of the spinal column. A poorly designed scoliosis brace immobilizes the muscles and the discs, this weakens the supporting muscles, and can actually result in a further progression of the scoliosis condition.
History of the New Scoliosis Brace – ScoliBrace™
This advanced type of brace has only been recently released. In cases of rapidly progressive curves that are not responsive to an exercise based approach on its own, the ScoliBrace™ is a powerful tool. While each case is analyzed on its own merits, the ScoliBrace™ will be used in less than half of scoliosis cases. Yes! A custom designed home exercise program can be enough.
This advanced design can be used in infantile, juvenile, adolescent and even adult scoliosis patients with a variety of designs. Each design follows the corrective mirror image principle applied to the unique scoliosis presentation of each patient.
3D DESIGNED FOR A 3D CONDITION
The new scoliosis brace design is called ScoliBrace™. This brace was released in 2012 and utilizes a unique super corrective scoliosis bracing method. Used in conjunction with 3D imaging software, BraceScan™, scans of the patient are taken. The 3D scans along with the patient’s X-rays and postural evaluation are all factored into designing a brace customized to fit their unique measurements and needs. By positioning the body and spine in their over-corrected or mirror image position, the ScoliBrace can have a super-corrective effect. Curve reductions are achieved in the majority of case, as well as improvements to rib hump, shoulder level and the overall appearance of the body. These new brace designs along with active regular supervision of the patient by a trained clinician are powerful tools to apply bracing principles to the growing and adapting spine. Braces need to be modified regularly as the child grows, as the spine changes, as the scoliosis responds to therapeutic procedures.
There are various groups of patients who can benefit from modern ScoliBrace™ scoliosis bracing. The first group are infants who have scoliosis. Here a series of rigid plaster casts has typically been used. The child would be recasted every 6 months or so as they grow. A fully padded over-corrective hard plastic brace has been developed by ScoliBrace™ specifically for the infantile case. Yes, it is more expensive to have to replace the brace at regular intervals rather than replacing a plaster cast as the child grows, but the infantile ScoliBrace™ can be removed to allow the child some time out of the brace for washing and playtime.
JUVENILE IDIOPATHIC SCOLIOSIS (JIS)
Without the correct treatment Juvenile scoliosis (3-9 years) can progress to severe curves. In most Juvenile cases the ScoliBrace™ can quickly reduce the curve. This means that after the first 6 months of treatment Juvenile patients can often continue to wear the ScoliBrace™ part-time or at night until they reach their adolescent growth spurt.
ADOLESCENT IDIOPATHIC SCOLIOSIS (AIS)
The next group are young people who have not reached skeletal maturity. For this type of scoliosis, the ScoiBrace is designed to be applied while the spine is still growing during adolescence. In adolescents (10-18 years), ScoliBrace™ moves the patient into a super-corrected position to train the curve towards straight as the child grows. If applied before or during the growth period, a good correction can be made and maintained. ScoliBrace is also effective in improving the appearance of the body and in many cases eliminates the need for surgery. ScoliBrace™ is designed to be almost invisible under clothing.
A large variety of designs and modifications are available depending on the specific needs of each child. Bracing can be used only at night, partial day use, or in more difficult cases full time use (20+ hours per day). The adolescent is ALWAYS also provided with a custom designed home exercise program that accompanies ScoliBrace treatment.
The last group of patients that can benefit from the modern ScoliBrace™ designs are adults with either Adolescent Scoliosis in Adults, or De-Novo (Adult Degenerative) scoliosis. Adult Scoliosis can originate from a pre-existing adolescent scoliosis, or it can be a new development of scoliosis in adulthood (De Novo or Adult onset Scoliosis). After the spine reaches skeletal maturity a different bracing strategy can be used to stabilize the curve and reduce or eliminate pain and improve posture and appearance. Depending on the type of scoliosis, ScoliBrace™ can be used to help pain, hold the curve or improve the appearance of the body. A low profile ScoliBrace™ that targets the lumbar spine can be used to make the adult ScoliBrace™ nearly invisible under clothing. These adult scoliosis patients may only have to wear the brace for 4-5 hours per day to get significant pain relief and postural correction when used with a custom designed home exercise program.
In the past, x-rays of patients that show improvement were taken “in brace” (you can tell because the metal studs and buckles of the brace is apparent in the x-ray). What will happen when this type of brace is removed? Why are all the post x-ray pictures taken with the brace in place? In the older types of brace, the spinal supporting muscles can become weakened by brace and the curve can be worse if the brace is removed. Because ScoliBrace uses a hyper-corrective design with pressure areas along with voids, the muscles stay active and a postural retraining occurs. Posture is very often better out of the ScoliBrace™!
In 2013, the New England Journal of Medicine published a multi-center study to determine whether wearing scoliosis braces would prevent the need for spinal correction surgery in children with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The study was cut short when early results were overwhelmingly in favor of bracing. This study demonstrates that when advanced scoliosis bracing is prescribed for high-risk patients, the need for surgery can be prevented in most cases.
What makes the ScoliBrace™ different from the traditional Boston brace?
ScoliBrace™ achieves a super corrective position by guiding the body and spine into the opposite alignment of the scoliosis achieving:
- Curve reduction in the majority of cases
- Improvements to rib hump
- Improved shoulder alignment,
- Overall improvement in appearance of the body
ScoliBrace™opens and closes at the front making it easy to wear and remove without assistance. There is a variety of colors and patterns available for patients to personalize the look of their brace.
How does the process work?
- A 3D BraceScan™ is created using an innovative iOS app combined with a 3D scanner attached to an iPad.
- Using CADCAM (computer aided design, computer aided manufacture) the 3D body scan is the basis of a totally customized brace design.
- When the ScoliBrace™ arrives from the factory, a brace fitting session is arranged. At this session the doctor will make any minor modifications to make the brace fit comfortable and effectively. Using low dose X-ray, the perfect fit can be ensured by taking an image of the spine in the brace.
- Progress reviews and follow-ups are scheduled to ensure the brace is always working effectively for the patients.
- The brace can be modified by heating the plastic and remolding it, adding de-rotational pads, or cutting away unnecessary edges as the patient grows, as the spine responds to the program of care, as the spine straightens and elongates.
Give us a call right now for a no obligation, free consultation that is 100% confidential: