Noelle is 4 “and-a-half” (as she proudly tells everyone), and she enjoys learning to ride her bike, playing outside, and doing art projects, all in her brace!
We’re thrilled that after just 6 1/2 months of wearing the brace Mr. Luke and his team at National Scoliosis Center (NSC) made for Noelle, her thoracic curve has reduced 32% (from 28 degrees to 19 degrees) and her lumbar curve has reduced 40% (from 35 degrees to 21 degrees). Most exciting is that this is not just a mechanical correction applied by the brace, but a structural change in the shape development of the individual bones in her spine. As her parents, we’re endlessly grateful for the expertise and compassion from NSC that have produced this astounding early result.
About 9 months ago, a chest X-ray for pneumonia revealed Noelle’s scoliosis, which was quite advanced. It was a bit of a blow, not only because eventual spinal surgery was almost a guarantee without an effective brace, but because we had noticed something wasn’t right and had told ourselves we were just over-scrutinizing after others (including health care professionals) assured us she was fine. At 2 and 3 years old, scoliosis was just not on our radar. For this reason, we’re so appreciative of the education and awareness efforts of NSC.
Thankfully, the first orthopedist we saw knew that research supported the best correction efficacy has been achieved by the Rigo-Cheneau brace. We quickly reviewed our options for orthotists who make this type of brace, and it was obvious NSC was going to be our best chance for avoiding surgery. Our results at this point are clear evidence this was the right call.
While Noelle does enjoy a few hours out of her brace each day, she continues to be completely comfortable wearing it the other 20-22 hours daily. We’ll always remember Mr. Brent, COO (and father of a daughter with scoliosis), advising us at our first appointment that “wearing a brace doesn’t have to change anything for her” regarding Noelle’s childhood activities and daily life. At the time, this allowed us to breathe a huge sigh of relief. It has also turned out to be 100% true! Her brace is really her second skin, and any comfort issues have always been extremely mild and effectively addressed. Although we’re looking at about 10 more years of brace wear, nothing is daunting or overwhelming about this, knowing we’re in competent, caring hands at NSC.
We feel it’s pivotal to explain that Noelle’s ability to comply with the full-time wear schedule that’s required to avoid surgery, is a direct result of the high-level care Luke, Kristian, and the rest of the team provide in producing customized, cutting-edge, non-invasive medical treatment, delivered in wearable art. Allowing Noelle to help with making her brace and selecting a design, and being maximally responsive to every complaint of discomfort has been HUGE in getting her to wear her brace as prescribed. This is not just something NSC does for fun or photo ops, it’s a deliberate, evidence-based part of treatment for helping a child to adhere to wearing something that could otherwise be a source of embarrassment or self-consciousness. Again, there are plenty of scoliosis braces (even WCRs) available that are unattractive and even sloppy in their fabrication. The NSC team has always paid the utmost attention to detail in making a high-quality product, from both a medical and aesthetic perspective.
We truly cannot say enough about the level of skill, professionalism, and compassion that is evident in every aspect of the care experience and every staff person at NSC. Every appointment is a fun experience for Noelle. There is good reason to believe that without treatment from Luke and NSC, Noelle would be facing spinal surgery and all the risks of complications associated with it in the short and long term. What they do each day truly lifts an enormous burden from children and their families. When people ask, we tell them with full conviction that she’s receiving care from the best orthotists, at the best clinic for non-operative scoliosis treatment in the world.