Scoliosis resolved! This is a direct quote from a radiology report from a local hospital regarding one of our patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).
We are thrilled with this incredible result and to read this radiology report for a very hard-working thirteen-year-old. She has achieved a result spinal surgeons consider “impossible,” as in, “It’s “impossible to correct scoliosis without surgery.”
The report we are quoting, dated December 28, 2016, states, “Previously seen thoracolumbar scoliosis centered at T12-L1 measuring 17 degrees has resolved.” The x-ray report compared our patient’s present state to an x-ray taken on 6-11-2016 when she was mid-treatment under our care. (Initially, E. had a Cobb angle of 26º prior to bracing (May 2015) when at eleven years old she was considered to be at high risk of progression. See an update of this girl’s scoliosis result here:EK2.
Kudos to E. for having the maturity and discipline to help herself. We are grateful that her result will be an inspiration for our other patients who wear our Cheneau scoliosis brace. The fact that she has been able to correct scoliosis may even nudge a doubtful parent out there to sit up and take notice. E.: You are making a difference!
When this lovely young girl and her parents first came to see us they, understandably, didn’t want her to wear a scoliosis brace. The family changed their way of thinking after learning more about asymmetric scoliosis bracing and it’s potential to improve scoliosis.
E. has been a model patient, she followed Dr. Marc and Amy’s instructions to the letter. She’s also consistent with the various components of her scoliosis exercise program (she did our intensive Schroth Best Practice program) she wears her Cheneau-style Gensingen brace as instructed and she gets regular chiropractic adjustments from Dr. Marc. During the time she’s been under care she has grown significantly. However, unlike most kids with scoliosis, she has succeeded in correcting her scoliosis, even while growing substantially. As a result, her spine is more stable and since her scoliosis resolved she will never have to worry about progression in adulthood.
When scoliosis is managed via the right conservative program with a dedicated instructor and the patient is compliant, improved outcomes are completely feasible, despite what you may have been told. (Link here to see research that supports Schroth Best Practice).
What do we mean by improved outcomes? For the vast majority of kids, it means at least halted curve progression with improved spinal stability and balance and a visually better posture. For some, like E., it means scoliosis correction – at least to some degree. (Scoliosis correction is defined as > 5º decrease of Cobb angle.)
E. has shown that improving scoliosis is doable–to the ultimate resolution. Other patients have shown significant improvement as well. Click here for more results from other patients.
At her last checkup, E. got some good news. Dr. Marc instructed her to cut her brace wear time from 16 hours/day (down from 22 initially) to 13 hours due to her significant improvement. What’s notable about this reduction in brace wearing time is that kids who are still growing who wear other scoliosis braces don’t usually hear this from their doctors. Bracing usually is continued until the end of skeletal maturity. E. was able to achieve her incredible result because bracing with the Cheneau Gensingen Brace started early while her spine still had flexibility.
You may be wondering what type of result your child can get. That depends on several factors. First, to ensure the best results from conservative scoliosis treatment, treatment must take place in a timely manner. If your child has been diagnosed with a fairly mild curve –for example, a 15º or 20º Cobb angle – and has remaining growth, we strongly recommend you do not follow the watch and wait advice you will likely get.
Unfortunately, with scoliosis, the opportunity for early treatment at smaller Cobb angles doesn’t always exist. The reason for this is that diagnosis comes at different times for different kids and at various Cobb angles. An example of that is a patient we recently saw with curves of 60º thoracic and 60º lumbar. This is considered a double curve pattern and those appear more balanced, than a single curve pattern, especially when the curves are of a similar size. These curves can look less severe than they actually are. Those with moderate or severe scoliosis can still be helped by the right brace and our methods of scoliosis exercise. Conservative treatment is valuable for patients with scoliosis, no matter the Cobb angle. However, patients with mild and moderate Cobb angles have the best opportunity for curve reduction to some degree.
Aside from initiating treatment in a timely manner, choosing the right treatment approach is imperative! Incorporating a scoliosis exercise program that’s curve-pattern specific like ours is the best approach. Our program begins with education about each patient’s individual curve pattern is the best approach since its absolutely necessary that each patient understands their own curve to internalize what must be done to counteract progression. But, this is only the start. With juvenile scoliosis or adolescent scoliosis, there is a limited window of opportunity when attempting to initiate scoliosis correction via conservative methods. Choosing the wrong treatment can be costly, in more ways than one.
Many factors need to align for a result like E’s. Spinal flexibility is perhaps the most important variable. For our patients who have been successful at correcting scoliosis, completely or to some degree, we attribute their successes to:
- Our European-designed scoliosis brace. It is Schroth method compatible and easier to wear compared to compressive scoliosis braces (for example, the Boston Brace). In our Cheneau brace, every breath taken in-the-brace is a corrective breath. Kids who have switched from other braces tell us it’s “way more comfortable” and they like that it closes in the front for greater self-sufficiency.
- Compliance. It matters when it comes to wearing a scoliosis brace! The Gensingen brace is designed so kids can be and want to be more compliant.
- Excellent in-brace corrections, or possible overcorrection. The spine has the opportunity to move toward the midline.
- The most up-to-date evolution of the Schroth method that’s easier for patients to incorporate throughout the day. Attaining and mastering the needed skills, in a timely fashion, is necessary.
- Taking a positive, proactive approach.
The Gensingen Brace is available at Scoliosis 3DC in Boston, two locations near Toronto, Canada and at Shriner’s Hospital in Honolulu, HI. Get in touch with our brace affiliates here.
If you are a bracing professional and would like to offer your patients with scoliosis the opportunity for improved outcomes, contact us for information on our next bracing course at 781-938-8558.