Bracing is a non-surgical treatment method used to treat scoliosis and kyphosis, generally for growing kids and teenagers. Each brace is custom-made to fit the patient’s body structure and is adjusted to apply the right amount of pressure to correct or prevent spinal curvature.
The brace does not cure scoliosis, but it helps control the progression of spinal curvature during growth periods. It is usually recommended for patient with moderate scoliosis with a cobb angle between 25-45 degrees.
What can we do to help?
At Curv, we are able to assess whether or not you are a candidate for bracing, and can make the appropriate referrals to obtain a brace. Factors such as age, skeletal maturity, curve severity, and patient compliance are taken into account when determining the appropriateness and potential benefit of bracing.
Goals of Bracing
Prevent curve progression- the brace aims to halt the progression of spinal curvature, especially during periods of rapid growth, typically during adolescence.
Avoid surgery- if effective, bracing can help avoid or delay the need for spinal surgery (which is usually discussed when the curves reach 50 degrees)
Improve quality of life- braces can help reduce discomfort, improve posture, and boost self-confidence, continuing to an overall better quality of life.
Evidence for Bracing
The effectiveness of bracing as a treatment for scoliosis is backed by significant body of research. A landmark 2013 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Bracing in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Trial (BrAIST)” supported the efficacy of bracing.
The study found that bracing significantly decreased the progression of high-risk curves to the threshold for surgery in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The researchers used both randomization and a preference cohort to assess the effectiveness of bracing versus observation. Patients who wore the brace for more hours per day experienced better outcomes. For those who wore braces, the success rate was 72%, and for those under observation, the success rate was 48%.