Types of Braces
The decision about which brace to use when treating scoliosis will depend on the type of curve and whether the child will follow the doctor's directions about how many hours a day to wear the brace.
Braces can be custom-made or they can be made from a prefabricated mold. All braces must be selected for the specific curve problem and fitted to each patient. In order for braces to have their intended effect (to keep a curve from getting worse), braces must be worn every day for the full number of hours prescribed by the doctor until the child stops growing.
The two main types of braces used for scoliosis treatment include the Milwaukee brace and the thoracolumbosacral orthosis.
Patients can wear this brace to correct any curve in the spine. This brace has a neck ring.
Thoracolumbosacral Orthosis (TLSO)
Patients can wear this brace to correct curves whose apex is at or below the eighth thoracic vertebra. The TLSO is an underarm brace, which means that it fits under the arm and around the rib cage, lower back, and hips.
Doctors use scoliosis surgery to correct a curve or stop it from getting worse when the person is:
- Still growing
- The curve is more than 45 degrees
- The curve is getting worse.
Some people have tried other possible treatments for scoliosis, including manipulation by a chiropractor, electrical stimulation, dietary supplements, and corrective exercises. So far, studies of the following treatments have not been shown to prevent curve progression or curve worsening. They are:
- Chiropractic manipulation
- Electrical stimulation
- Nutritional supplementation.