We (Dr. Marc & Kathy) just concluded a busy week of travel related to scoliosis bracing in California and Hawaii. Dr. Marc spent three full days seeing patients in the Los Angeles area. He did initial evaluations, and fitted and adjusted many braces. Several patients came from as far as Colorado, Utah, San Francisco, Orange County and San Diego.
While there, he fit a college girl in her first-ever scoliosis brace. She was seeking pain relief stemming from her moderate scoliosis. He also measured a young man, also with pain, for a Physiologic® brace for thoracolumbar kyphosis. He just arrived here in Boston for his brace fittings (it is already helping alleviate his pain!) and to learn Schroth Best Practice® exercises for kyphosis.
We are happy to report that each and every California patient is doing well. All reported compliance in wearing their Chêneau-Gensingen braces and with their Schroth exercises. Everyone is showing postural improvements (some impressive ones) and are stable or have reduced rotation.
After LA, it was off to Hawaii–a welcome relief from our recent cold temperatures here in Boston. Ken Mandler of Shriners Hospital in Honolulu met us at the airport and proved to be a fantastic Oahu host! Ken is the chief orthotist at the Hawaii Shriners. He’s been a provider of the Gensingen brace® since 2016. He gave us a tour of Shriners beautiful Honolulu campus–a peaceful, caring place, and not at all what you think of when you think ‘hospital.’
Ken’s professional focus, for many years, has been the spine. He trained in California and had a private practice in Spokane, Washington before moving to Hawaii in 2011 to work with Shriners. He is the manager of Shriners O & P department and he and his team of orthotists see patients from all over Hawaii and the Pacific. Part of the important work they do includes quarterly outreach trips to Guam and Saipan. These trips allow the Shriners’ team to provide services to children who don’t typically have access to state-of-the-art medical care.
It was on one of his trips to Guam that Ken first saw a girl who had come to see us for a Chêneau-Gensingen brace®. He had originally fit the girl in a Boston brace but when he saw her Chêneau-Gensingen brace, he immediately recognized its value. Her mom followed us online and wanted her daughter to have a more tolerable brace which offered a correction effect. As a result of Ken’s foresight, open-mindedness, and desire to offer the best product possible for his patients, he called Marc to learn more about the Gensingen brace®. Soon after, Ken arrived for our first bracing course and subsequently sent his co-worker, Tammi Asato, for training as well.
Shriners Honolulu has three orthopedic doctors. According to Ken, two of the three do the majority of the spinal-related work there. We had the pleasure of meeting with each of them. Both commented about how pleased they have been with the results their scoliosis patients are achieving since Ken and Tammi began using the Gensingen brace®. One of the doctors is extremely knowledgeable about bracing, having worked with, as he put it, “braces from almost every city that braces come from.” It was great to hear the positive feedback about Ken’s fitting skills and the corrective effect patients are experiencing.
While there, we picked up a copy of the Shriners quarterly magazine, Leaders in Care. The winter edition includes a story about a “new scoliosis treatment,” and features Ken talking about the benefits of the Gensingen brace®.
While the brace is not quite so new for us (we introduced it in the US in 2013), we are happy that there are at least a few doctors in mainstream medicine who are beginning to recognize the benefits of the Gensingen brace. In our opinion, it’s without question the best scoliosis brace available today!