Most of our patients require full-time bracing and for that reason, our primary custom brace is the Rigo Cheneau Brace (we also provide custom nighttime braces). We strongly believe that the Rigo Cheneau Brace offers the greatest results for our patients. The Rigo Cheneau brace:
- Addresses the 3D Nature of Scoliosis
The originators of the brace, Dr. Jaques Cheneau and Dr. Manuel Rigo, recognized that scoliosis is a 3D spinal deformity and sought to create a brace that would address that.
- Uses State-of-the-Art Technology Allowing for Full Customization
Our Rigo Cheneau brace uses state-of-the-art CAD/CAM technology to digitally scan each patient’s unique body as the blueprint for each brace. Our chief orthotist, Luke Stikeleather, then designs and creates each custom brace in our facility. Compression points and breathing points are unique for each patient and each brace.
- Offers Proven Success History
Scoliosis patients using a Rigo Cheneau brace have seen marked and measurable success in reducing and halting the progression of spinal curvatures to prevent surgery, which is our goal at the National Scoliosis Center. National Scoliosis Center’s founder, Luke Stikeleather, has treated patients with scoliosis since 1988; however, in 2004 he began using the Rigo Cheneau brace (introducing it to North America) as his primary scoliosis brace because of the results he witnessed after meeting Dr. Manuel Rigo (now a colleague and friend). As of 2021, Luke has treated over 6,500 patients using the Rigo Cheneau brace. Of those 6,500 patients, 90% have had successful results—meaning no surgery was needed. Of that 90%, 60% of these patients saw curve stabilization—an important outcome considering the progressive nature of scoliosis, especially during the adolescent years. And, more than 30% actually experienced curve improvement. Bracing failures, the remaining 10%, were often due to large magnitude curves (3%) at initial treatment or patient non-compliance (7%). “Patients treated with RCOs [Rigo Cheneau] compared with Boston-style TLSOs had similar baseline characteristics and brace wear time yet significantly lower rates of spinal surgery. Patients with RCOs [Rigo Cheneau] also had lower mean and percent major curve progression versus those with TLSOs.”
- Our Patients tell Us it is More Comfortable
The brace is made of a very thin lightweight plastic with some padding added to the inside and sometimes under the arm. The brace works by pushing and applying force to the areas that will decrease the curves and the rotation that scoliosis causes. The contours and curves of the brace touch the body and put pressure in some areas and leave space in other areas. The brace does not touch the body in areas where it doesn’t need to.
Rigo Cheneau & Therapy
An effective combination—Schroth Physical Therapy in conjunction with the Rigo Cheneau Brace can help with curves. We collaborate with area Schroth physical therapists to provide this added treatment for our patients. The Schroth therapy regime, unique to scoliosis patients, addresses the rotation and side-bending components of scoliosis through breathing, muscle synergy, stretching, posture, and education. Dr. Cheneau personally worked with the pioneers of this method, the mother-daughter team of Katharina Schroth and Christa Lehnert-Schroth, in Germany in the 1970s and applied their concepts to his bracing techniques. The Schroth method is endorsed by the Scoliosis Research Society.
Luke Stikeleather and our team create Rigo Cheneau braces to address each patient’s unique curves. Each patient helps create the look of the brace as part of the customization process—choosing from fun colors and patterns (sporty, trendy, or neutral) that suit each patient’s unique personality. We believe that, by taking ownership of the design, our patients will be more inclined to wear the brace as directed.
Rigo Cheneau Brace Background
The Rigo Cheneau Brace originated with French brace developer Dr. Jacques Cheneau. In the 1970s, Dr. Cheneau worked closely with Katharina Schroth and Christa Lehnert-Schroth in Germany and embraced their breathing classifications for scoliosis physical therapy treatment. He incorporated breathing and expansion spaces in his brace designs to allow for that while still wearing a brace. Dr. Manuel Rigo of Spain expanded on Dr. Cheneau’s work, extending the number of models available and the customization process. Now, the Rigo Cheneau brace offers full customization based on a digital scan and each patient’s unique curves.