Bracing has long been used to halt the progression of spinal curvature. In cases of early onset, bracing has even resulted in “corrective growth” where curves decrease as the patient grows while the brace holds the spine in corrected position.
Children and Adolescent Bracing
Luke Stikeleather has been making braces for more than 30 years. His expertise lies in the custom TLSO Rigo Cheneau brace which he has perfected after decades of treating patients with scoliosis. This brace focuses on the 3-dimensional nature of scoliosis. The combination of pressure points and areas of relief (no pressure) allow for correction of the curve in all planes and helps restore balance and alignment in the spine. Our orthotists strive to include our patients in the brace making and fitting process. Our patients especially enjoy picking out the color or pattern of their brace. At delivery, we work together to make the brace as comfortable as possible and walk the child through getting accustomed to the brace, wear and care, and compliance expectations.
Some patients benefit from a different style of brace that is worn only when sleeping. The Providence brace is most often used in these situations. Since it is worn while sleeping, greater correction is achieved because a lower comfort threshold is required and gravity and mobility is less of an issue. This brace is appropriate for most curve patterns, but is often prescribed on the edges of the spectrum. It is useful as a part-time brace for smaller curves and can be used in conjunction with our Rigo Cheneau for severe curves.
Bracing for adults has different goals than bracing growing adolescents. With adults, we work to elongate the spine and decrease the pressure on the concave portion of the curve and vertebrae. In so doing, we hope to decrease pain, increase endurance for daily activities, and improve posture. An evaluation with X-ray is required to determine if bracing will benefit the adult patient.