“Scoliosis Resolved”

“Scoliosis resolved” – those are not our words, but a direct quote from the report from a radiologist at a local hospital regarding one of our patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

Scoliosis Correction

Scoliosis resolved for a girl with a 26º scoliosis.

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 most spinal surgeons consider “impossible,” as in: “It’s “impossible to correct scoliosis without surgery.”

The report 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

Kudos to E. for having the maturity and stick-t0-itiveness to help herself. We are grateful that her result will be an inspiration for our other patients who wear the Gensingen 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 E. 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 followed Dr. Marc and Amy’s instructions to the letter: she’s consistent with the various components of her scoliosis exercise program (she did our intensive Schroth Best Practice program) she wears her Chêneau-style Gensingen brace as instructed and she gets regular chiropractic adjustments from Dr. Marc. During this  time, she has grown significantly, but unlike most kids with scoliosis she has succeeded in reducing scoliosis, even while growing substantially. As a result, her spine is more stable and she has most certainly eliminated the chance of hearing a spinal surgeon say the “s” word –surgery.

When scoliosis is managed via the right conservative methods and the patient is compliant, improved outcomes are completely feasible, despite what you may have been told. (Link here to supporting research)

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. See more results here.

At her last check up 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 wear other scoliosis braces don’t usually hear this from their doctors when there is still growth potential.

You may be wondering what type of result your child can get. That depends on several factors. First, to insure 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.

Unfortuntately, 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, visually, 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 a moderate or severe scoliosis can still be helped by the right brace and our methods of scoliosis exercise. It’s just that when it comes to conservative treatment, when Cobb angles are less severe there is a better opportunity to achieve a result like E’s.

Aside from initiating treatment in a timely manner, choosing the right treatment approach is imperative. Incorporating a scoliosis-specific exercise program beginning with individual education about curve pattern is the best approach since each patient must understand their own unique curve to understand what must be done to counteract progression. This is only the start. With AIS, there is a limited window of opportunity when attempting to initiate scoliosis correction via conservative methods. Choosing the wrong treatment will be costly, in more ways than one.

The bottom line is that many factors need to align for a result like E’s. Spinal flexibility and compliance are among some of the variables. For patients who have been successful at correcting scoliosis, to some degree, we attribute their successes to:

  1. our European-designed scoliosis brace, it’s Schroth method compatible and more tolerable to wear. Every breath in-the-brace is a corrective breath! Kids who have switched from other scoliosis braces tell us it’s “way more comfortable” and they like that it closes in the front for greater self-sufficiency so it’s easier for kids to be more compliant.
  2. the concept of overcorrection and excellent in-brace corrections. This way the spine has the opportunity to move toward the midline.
  3. our intensive scoliosis management program that’s the most up-to-date evolution of the Schroth method. It is easier to incorporate throughout the day. Attaining and mastering the needed skills in a timely fashion is what is absolutely necessary.
  4. taking a positive, proactive approach.

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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, our next brace certification course is in early March, 2017. Space is limited so call now. 781-938-8558.