Spinal Bracing

Bracing is a way to treat some spine disorders. The braces are often plastic. They are worn around your child’s torso, which is the upper part the body. They work well in helping children with conditions like scoliosis. Spinal braces can:

  • Keep a spinal curve from getting worse
  • Straighten the spine while the brace is on
  • Prevent or delay surgery
  • Help bones heal after surgery

Your child’s doctor decides what kind of brace will work best. That choice will depend on your child’s curve type, degree of the curve, amount of rotation and age. Your child may have to be fitted for a new brace as he grows or switch to a different brace. They can feel uncomfortable at first. Your child’s doctor and orthotist will help him get adjusted to the new brace.

       

Boston

Modified Boston spinal brace

The Boston brace is the most common brace used for idiopathic scoliosis. It uses the hips as a base point and goes up to about the shoulder blades. This brace has foam pads inside that press on the child’s ribs to straighten the spine. 

The brace is:

  • Plastic
  • Worn 16 to 22 hours a day
  • Used to keep curves and rotation from getting worse
  • Most often made to measurements

Modified Boston

Boston spinal brace

The Modified Boston brace was developed at Children’s. It is based on the Boston and Milwaukee systems. The brace starts at the hips and reaches just below the chest and shoulder blades. More than 1,200 patients have been treated with this brace at Children’s.

The brace is:

  • Plastic
  • Worn 16 to 22 hours a day
  • Effective in keeping curves from getting worse
  • Made from a custom cast

Providence

Providence spinal braceThe Providence brace is worn at night. It pushes the child’s body to straighten the spine. Because it is only worn while sleeping, it does not limit daytime activities. The brace works best when the child sleeps on his back.

The brace is:

  • Plastic
  • Worn eight to 10 hours a night
  • Mostly used for single curve but can be effective on multiple curves
  • Made using a measurement frame

Charleston

The Charleston brace over-corrects a curve by bending to the other side. It is often called a bending brace. The brace is usually used for single curves. Like the Providence, it is only worn while sleeping.

The brace is:

  • Plastic
  • Worn eight to 10 hours a night while lying down
  • Used for single curve patients
  • Made to measure

Custom TLSO

Custom TSLO spinal braceThe Custom TLSO (thoracolumbosacral orthosis) is usually used after surgery or by patients with neuromuscular scoliosis. It is foam with a plastic frame and is more flexible than other braces.

The brace is:

  • Plastic and foam
  • Worn during the day while sitting
  • Not considered a treatment for idiopathic scoliosis
  • Made to measurement or by casting

Hyperextension TLSO

A Hyperextension TLSO (thoracolumbosacral orthosis) is used mostly for kyphoscoliosis, a musculoskeletal disorder.

The brace is:

  • Metal and plastic
  • Worn about 20 hours a day
  • Used mostly for curves that go front to back
  • Made by casting

 

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