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View Full Version : large curve... any success out there with bracing?


staying positive
02-02-2013, 05:25 PM
Hi, I am new to this and stumbled on this forum whilst researching about scoliosis. My daughter has just turned 16 and has been diagnosed with a 54 deg upper thoracic and 34 deg lumbar S curve.
She still has lots of growing to do (a late developer). We are now on a very steep learning curve (no pun intended) and feel so anxious about what is ahead for her. She is very brave and ready to tackle this scoliosis head on. We shudder with the idea of surgery but her curve is large and we are expecting that surgeons will be recommending corrective surgery. I would be very grateful if anyone out there has had a successful experience with large curves and bracing? We know we have to move quickly to take advantage of this 'growth window' before we lose any opportunities.
Would really appreciate some knowledge from people who have been in similar situations.
Thanks :confused:

Hazel
04-02-2013, 12:09 PM
Hi I decided to share my bracing experience in the hope it helps you all. I was diagnosed at the age of ten. After monitoring I was sent to Sydney orthopedic specialists at (name of hospital deleted by admin) (during the 1980's). Very kind people there took the time to explain everything honestly. I was offered at the age of 13 the brace in preferance to an operation as my specialist admitted there were post-op problems in some patients at that time. I had a "S" shaped curve like your daughter. The largest curve was in my lumbar spine close to 60 degrees (can't remember exactly). I almost got the milwaulkee brace, but specialists decided on the boston instead. They fitted and made a new one every year for the next three+years. In this time my curve reduced considerably to 40+ range. I was a dilegent patient and only took the brace off for a bath. I managed to keep dancing ballet, tap, play tennis, but gave up Jazz dancing. I also managed to participate in school cross country and PE sessions - although this could get uncomfortable. (Important - make sure you keep doing the core muscle exercises they give you). Drs did want to operate but for another spinal problem I have at L5 (spondolothesis) which would make fussion very problematic. I am now happy not to have op. as I have meet people with rods and fusion with pain. While I have pain (after having kids) yoga and swimming helps to improve this. These days they have programs like the Shroth method (which have eventually come to Australia) which seem to help (a trainer at my local gym was taken as a teenager with scoliosis to America to use one of these treatments) you would not know he has scoliosis now. Good luck!

staying positive
04-02-2013, 04:20 PM
Thank you Hazel for sharing your story. It is very reassuring to hear that bracing really worked for you. My daughter will be so pleased to learn that the brace did not stop you from being active in sport etc. We would be over the moon if bracing reduced her curve like yours did...the more I learn, the more I think that bracing is worth a shot, even with a larger curve. I am happy all has worked out for you. Thanks a million. Staying positive :)

Liesel
03-03-2013, 04:55 PM
Hi, I am new to this and stumbled on this forum whilst researching about scoliosis. My daughter has just turned 16 and has been diagnosed with a 54 deg upper thoracic and 34 deg lumbar S curve.
She still has lots of growing to do (a late developer). We are now on a very steep learning curve (no pun intended) and feel so anxious about what is ahead for her. She is very brave and ready to tackle this scoliosis head on. We shudder with the idea of surgery but her curve is large and we are expecting that surgeons will be recommending corrective surgery. I would be very grateful if anyone out there has had a successful experience with large curves and bracing? We know we have to move quickly to take advantage of this 'growth window' before we lose any opportunities.
Would really appreciate some knowledge from people who have been in similar situations.
Thanks :confused:

Hi, I am 53 now, so a lot older than your daughter, but thought I would share my experience with the spinecor brace. I have worn it for nearly 18 months and thought it might stop the progression, but unfortunately it hasn't. Having X-rays with the brace on I am 50 degrees and without I am 53 degrees. But having said that I have researched the brace and statistics show that children in their puberty years and early teens, the brace can correct the curve almost completely, so I would definitely give it a go before surgery. Good Luck!!

Fortydegrees
25-05-2013, 09:13 PM
My daughter (aged 13) has a large C shaped curve of 45 degrees. We chose to try a rigid brace called a Gomez brace along with schroth exercises. It has been about 6 weeks with the brace, and about 3 months with the exercises so far. The purpose of the brace is to avoid surgery, or delay surgery and prevent the curve from getting worse.

It took a good 2 weeks for my daughter to be able to wear the brace for the full 23 hours. It places a lot of pressure on one side of her ribs and under her arm, so she is always red and sore there, but coping. She only has about 2 percent growth left so we hoping to capture this while she is braced. The chiropractor said he has a 17 year old patient who wore the same brace with a similar curve for a couple of years, and it was successful - and she had no growth left!

In my opinion, trying a back brace to prevent or just delay surgery is a must. We had to travel to Sydney for this option and it is quite expensive.

I will keep you updated as to how she goes.

Fortydegrees
06-06-2013, 08:19 PM
I thought I better update my daughter's progress. In her brace she was x-rayed at 15 degrees, when only 6 weeks ago she was 45 degrees. Of course if she takes the brace off her curve will not stay at 15 degrees by itself, yet. Her schroth exercises and the brace have improved the shape of her rib cage and when she leans forward her humped shoulder has gone down. :)

SarahH
20-06-2013, 01:51 PM
Firstly can I just say having an open forum like this is soo good! I was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 11 (i'm now 28) and obviously there was nothing like this available, not even the good old internet to research peoples stories, second opinions etc.
My curve was picked up in an xray of my lungs for asthma, I had a curve of 27degrees and by the end of year 6 was put into a boston brace. Obviously the aim of bracing is to halt the curve from progressing any further while you are growing and best case, straighten it back a little! I wore that brace 23 hours a day vigilantly as i was sooo scared of spinal surgery. I wore it for 4 years (yep during those terrible awkward teenage years, like they aren't hard enough!) Unfortunately, my curve ended up 52 degrees now so it seems the bracing didn't do much. In saying that, it would be nice to have a crystal ball and be able to see/predict what would've happened if I didn't wear it. I may have hit 52 degrees by age 14 had I not worn it and most definitely probably would've had to have surgery then. Who knows but i definitely don't regret giving it a go! Research has come a long way and I never knew of the spineCor brace which i've read about recently, and it says it is 4 times more effective than the boston (and is more aesthetically pleasing!). When I was in yr 10 the orthopedic surgeon recommended the surgery but i told him no he could wait until i finished school at the end of yr 12 as I knew if I left for a few months I wouldn't want to go back. So I went back end of yr 12 when i was 18 and this time he said no I didn't need it!? (lucky I didn't have it in yr 10 right!) He said it wasn't affecting my health, I had impeccable posture and carried it really well you really couldn't notice so he said surgery would be for aesthetic purposes. So to date I havn't had surgery however I feel my 'hump' on my right side of my back is getting bigger. They say without surgery once you have stopped growing the curve will get 1/2-1 degree worse each year. I worry in 10 years time my 'hump' will be so much bigger and harder to fix. Going for a check up at end of July (was meant to go a few years ago but didn't) so will see what he says!
Not sure if my story helped with whether to brace or not but thought i'd share my story!

Fortydegrees
21-06-2013, 08:23 PM
Thank you SarahH for sharing your experiences. I am just wondering if you would consider doing Schroth exercises now to hopefully prevent your back from getting worse? I'm not sure if they can help but maybe it would be worth talking to someone about it. :hug:

SarahH
26-06-2013, 10:22 PM
hi Fortydegrees thanks i'll look into it! Another remedy not available back then i've never heard of it! Times have definitely changed I feel...