Custom Scoliosis Bracing Available at Scoliosis 3DC®
Recently, one of our star patients and her family revisited us from Ontario, Canada. This time it was our patient’s younger sister who required scoliosis bracing. The girls’ mom had been vigilant about watching her youngest daughter’s spine for signs of scoliosis too. This time, Dr. Moramarco recommended Gensingen nighttime scoliosis brace.
It’s important to be aware that scoliosis is a potentially heritable condition. When one child in the family is diagnosed, parents should monitor all siblings with remaining growth. The mom of these girls knew this and she wasn’t taking any chances because when her oldest daughter was diagnosed it was totally unexpected and severe. That diagnosis came as a complete surprise. Her scoliosis was diagnosed at a Cobb angle of 47 degrees as a result of an x-ray for pneumonia.
When mom began to have suspicions, she knew it meant her youngest daughter would need an x-ray. When she asked their family doctor for an x-ray to confirm scoliosis, he refused to order it and dismissed her concerns. Mom was persistent though. She approached a second doctor who also expressed doubts, but mom was persistent and he eventually relented. Mom’s usually have pretty good instincts so as it turned out she was right. The x-ray showed scoliosis and the second doctor eventually conceded that he apparently didn’t know much about the early indications of scoliosis.
Mom and dad sent us the x-ray. We scheduled a Facetime session and Dr. Moramarco recommended a Gensingen nighttime brace for daughter number two. The family made an appointment they made the long drive from Canada to Massachusetts as they had before. After going through the bracing experience with their first daughter, they knew the value of having their child fit with the right scoliosis brace. After the final brace fit the girls’ dad and I were talking. He looked at me and said, “You know, you really don’t emphasize the customization component of the brace enough on your website.” (He was referring to our policy of three consecutive brace fittings for patients who come from afar to get the Gensingen brace). He went on to use the word “relentless” to describe our team’s commitment to making the brace fit perfectly. We do that because we want every braced patient to be as comfortable, and as corrected, as possible. Comfort and correction are absolutely essential. We probably don’t have to tell you that If a brace is intolerable kids won’t wear it. Parents, and kids who wear a scoliosis brace need to know that a few hours a day of scoliosis bracing just isn’t enough. In order to improve compliance, we focus on comfort.
A more comfortable scoliosis brace
Why is the Gensingen brace more comfortable, than other scoliosis braces? Each Gensingen brace is designed according to the patient’s exact curve pattern and size. We take a 3D scan of the torso to achieve perfect measurements. It’s also more lightweight than other braces. The brace is made using less material. Dr. Weiss has eliminated one of the hips on each 3D Gensingen brace. When he initially did that it was a controversial move. Now, we’ve noticed others are suddenly following his lead and copying the one hip design. Another benefit the Gensingen brace is that it does not compress the chest. That’s an important distinction, especially for girls with a developing chest. The Gensingen brace is also lighter than other scoliosis braces because all US manufactured braces are made with a modified polyethylene material – braces are sturdy, yet moldable. It makes a difference. Braces are more easily adjusted for better comfort. When a child grows we can adjust the brace easily (up to a certain point – then a new brace is likely to be required so your child has the benefit of optimal correction effect.
The Gensingen brace – a 3D scoliosis brace – differs from other braces for scoliosis that only aim to stop scoliosis (1). The Gensingen brace (and the Gensingen nighttime brace) tries to take advantage of the growth process to improve Cobb angle, spinal balance, stability, and posture. In general, it’s patients with some growth potential and spinal flexibility who have the best opportunity of attaining some degree of curve correction.
Some people wonder how we manage scoliosis bracing for kids from all over the U.S., Canada, and we’ve fit kids from other continents as well. We do this by following patients closely through email, and we use Skype or FaceTime when necessary. Before leaving our office, parents receive detailed instructions about sending photos at regular intervals and urged to keep track of their child’s growth. Managing scoliosis bracing is an active process that we take very seriously. When we get an email indicating a child is suddenly uncomfortable, it usually indicates that either the brace needs adjusting due to growth (increase in height or width). When significant growth occurs a brace need replacement. Fortunately, with specific feedback from the patient, we either provide instructions for the fix or have the family send the brace via overnight post.
In the opening of this post, we mentioned that the oldest sister of the patient in this post is one of our star patients. We say this because “Big Sis” was committed to her Schroth exercises and reported wearing her Gensingen brace 21plus hours per day. When the family first visited us in 2014 she had a Cobb angle of 62º. As we mentioned she’d been diagnosed at 47º, but by the time they arrived in Boston – 26 days later – she had progressed by 15º. We call her a star because as a result of her hard work her last x-ray showed that her curve measured 30º. She is currently deemed fully grown and has weaned from her brace.
The value of choosing the best scoliosis brace and the benefits of scoliosis bracing customization can’t be underestimated. Our entire team strives to make your child’s scoliosis experience as easy as possible. We do this via the most up-to-date, non-surgical scoliosis management methods (and if you are an adult, we fit adult braces too!). The Gensingen brace is the most advanced evolution of Schroth compatible bracing technology available and the bracing library is constantly being improved and updated.
While not all kids can expect the same results as our star patient and her sister (stable with improved posture) as a group, kids with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with curves that aren’t approaching the surgery zone are experiencing very good results. For patients with curves of 30º and under, some have even achieved improvements to Cobb angles of <10º –no longer considered scoliosis. We urge parents to act as soon as possible when possible.
Our mission unknowingly began when we discovered our daughter had scoliosis. It didn’t take us long to conclude that kids and families deserved better treatment options than we were led to believe existed, more conservative options that are effective. We also recognized that this needed to be delivered in the context of a positive, caring environment. We set out to provide families a setting where each patient can strive to attain their optimal potential for scoliosis improvement, self-sufficiency, and true hope. Scoliosis improvement is possible with the right non-surgical alternatives.
(1)Fayssoux RS, Cho RH, Herman MJ. A History of Bracing for Idiopathic Scoliosis in North America. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. 2010;468(3):654-664.
Updated March 17, 2019.