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Tara
26-07-2012, 12:38 PM
Hi, Im after some advice, which is so hard.
At 8 years old my son was found to have an 18 degree curvature.
Nine months later, it had progressed to a 32 degree curve and a brace was fitted.
After full time bracing the curve adjusted to 20 degrees, which we were happy with.
Six months after that my son then hit an age where he is certain his not wearing a brace. We argue with him about it everyday, however he will take it off and hide it, which we dont always notice.
We went back to the specialist and his curve was back to 23 degrees. The specailist told us that our son is going to be very tall, and still has 40-50- cm of growth. For this reason he is worried about the outcome if our son continues non-compliance with his brace. He warned us that in puberty his curve could double within 3 months.
He told us to consider surgury as another option-staples in his back like an internal brace. He said he is only suggesting this due to our sons age, non-comppliance and growth chart-which looks set to soar.
We are at a loss as to what to do. Our son just cant see that his brace could change his future. We are trying our hardest to make him wear it-however this is only going to get harder with puberty. Do you have any advice for us?

Dr Scoliosis
27-07-2012, 04:58 PM
Thank you for your enquiry and the story you have related is a more than familiar one. It is very unusual to find a boy who will be compliant with brace-wearing once they get to about 10 years of age. When they are small and more under their parents' thumbs it is much easier.

When a boy refuses point-blank to wear a brace, this can be very unsettling for the family because of parental concern with a curve not under control.

Have you shown your son the spinal x-rays before and after the brace was applied to show the significant improvement? This might be helpful.

The suggestion by your surgeon for you to consider is not unreasonable in the circumstances. To set your mind at ease it would be reasonable for you to suggest a second opinion by someone who works in the paediatric spinal area.

Generally speaking, an idiopathic curvature, that is a curvature where there is no associated disease or disorder of which scoliosis may be a manifestation, is rarely managed by surgery under 10 years of age. I presume the bracing program was to keep the curve under control as long as possible, buying time while growth occurs.

Braces work well on teeth for several simple reasons. First, the youngster cannot take them off and he or she goes to the orthodontist every few weeks to have the braces tightened. Part-time brace-wearing for scoliosis, certainly at this age, is all but useless.

I wish I could offer you more encouraging advice but trust these comments are of some assistance to you.

Dr Scoliosis