Orthotic Treatment for Scoliosis
Braces, or orthoses, are used to treat adolescent idiopathic scoliosis in children with moderate scoliosis curves ranging from 25-45 degrees who are growing rapidly during their adolescent years. The goal of the brace is to keep the child's spinal curve from progressing during this time of growth and ultimately, to avoid the need for surgery.
The brace is designed to fit the child's specific body shape and curve type and, while wearing it, is meant to return the spine to as normal alignment as possible without interfering with the child's daily routine.
Wearing a Scoliosis Brace
Because scoliosis braces are usually worn in the child's adolescent or early teenage years, adjustments are typically made every three to four months as the child grows. The brace typically needs to be replaced at least once per year, and it should be worn until the child is considered skeletally mature or the spine is no longer growing significantly. At this point, the primary risk for further curve progression has passed.
There are several types of braces used to treat scoliosis. The most common is the thoraco-lumbo-sacral orthosis (TLSO). TLSOs are made from special plastics and customized by an orthotist to fit the child perfectly. The TLSO's close fit makes it reasonably comfortable and easy
to wear under clothes. Most are designed to cover the child's torso from below the breast line to
just above the pelvis in the front and from below the shoulder blades to just above the buttocks in
The majority of scoliosis curves are best treated when the child wears the brace throughout most of the day and at night. Smaller, single curves in the lower part of the spine, unlike the more common S-shaped curves, can be treated with a brace designed for night-wear only. The more common night braces are the Charleston brace and the Providence brace, which conform to the child's body while lying down to bend the spine in the opposite direction of the scoliosis curve.
For more information about our Orthotics department, please call 214-559-7440 or
800-421-1121, ext. 7440.