Did you know that bracing is the only nonsurgical treatment proven to slow the progression of certain specific idiopathic scoliosis curves? Read on to learn more about this common and effective treatment option.
What does a brace accomplish?
When a teenager is diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis, their thoughts may be flooded with any number of fears. For example, it is common to wonder if you will be able to continue to walk on your own, and most people worry about noticeable physical disfigurement.
The good news is that about 90 percent of people will not need surgery or a brace to treat their idiopathic scoliosis.1 Instead, the vast majority of people can continue to live their lives in a similar fashion as they did before their diagnosis—but they will need to be regularly monitored for any progression of the curvature of their spine.
For adolescents with significant curvature in their spine (exceeding a Cobb angle of 25 degrees), a brace may be prescribed to slow or halt the progression of scoliosis. The ultimate goal of prescribing the brace is to prevent the need for a future major surgery.
As regards to adults, by the time a person has reached full skeletal maturity, a brace is no longer effective in slowing the progression of an idiopathic scoliosis curve. This means that braces are most often prescribed for people aged 10 to 16 years.
Which curves are best treated with bracing?
The curve configurations that are most responsive to bracing are those that are:
- Centered in the thoracic (mid back) or upper lumber (lower back) spine
- In patients who are skeletally immature (still have lots of growth potential)