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Back Brace for Scoliosis

For some people with scoliosis, a back brace is used to keep a spinal curve from getting worse. The two types of back braces for this condition include the Milwaukee brace and the thoracolumbosacral orthosis. In order to have its intended effect, the brace must be worn every day for the full number of hours prescribed by the doctor until the child stops growing.

Using a Back Brace for Scoliosis

Many children who are sent to the doctor by a school scoliosis screening program have mild spinal curves that do not need scoliosis treatment. However, when a child does need treatment, the doctor may send him or her to an orthopedic spine specialist.
Doctors will suggest the best scoliosis treatment for each patient based on:
  • The child's age
  • How much more he or she is likely to grow
  • The degree and pattern of the curve
  • The type of scoliosis.
Different options the doctor may recommend include:
  • Observation
  • Bracing
  • Surgery.

Treating Scoliosis With Bracing

Doctors may advise bracing in order to stop a curve from getting worse. This option may be used when:
  • The person is still growing and has a curve of more than 25 to 30 degrees
  • The person is still growing and has a curve between 20 and 29 degrees that is getting worse
  • The person has at least two years of growth remaining and has a curve that is between 20 and 29 degrees.
However, females who have started their monthly period should not use bracing.
As a child nears the end of growth, the indications for a back brace will depend on how the curve affects the child's appearance, whether the curve is getting worse, and the size of the curve.
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