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Posted in: Bracing, Scoliosis, and Surgery.

Flexible brace or spinal surgery for Scoliosis treatment

Started by laura90 on 05/01/2010 3:21am

My son who is 12 years old has Scoliosis. His curve is about 50 degrees according to recent X-rays. His doctor has suggested the spinal rod and fusion surgery. I'm very scared and concerned. I did a little search on the Internet and discoverd the flexible brace or SpinCor System. Has anyone known this brace to treat the Scoliosis? Does anyone especially kid use the brace?

I've just joined the community and read most of the posts. I find them very helpful and hope to get some advices and ideas from the community. Thank you.

Laura

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I'm surprised your doctor did not recommend a brace before advising surgery. I'm not familiar with the kinds of braces used now, but I know that most doctors recommend bracing first. I was 58 when I had anterior and posterior scoliosis surgeries at UCSF, Dr. David Bradford. I certainly would want another opinion or more. Your son has lots of growing yet which would concern me too.

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Hello,
I hope your doctor was saying that fusion surgery was a worse case scenario option. Surgery should always be the last resort. but bracing is an option that many surgeons use after a spinal fusion operation. Though simple in concept – rest and immobility is good – in reality too much bracing can cause more harm than good. Bottomline is always look for other treatment options.

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My daughter had had scoliosis since she was 10 when her curvature was about 38 degrees. She had worn the brace (hard plastic one from hip upto armpit) for 5 years. In Jan 2010, the curvature aggravated to 54.8 degrees. She underwebt the spinal rod and fusion surgery 2 and half weeks ago.

As learnt from her doctor, I know why your son's doctor suggests the spine operation for you. First of all, the magic figure (per my daugher's doctor) for operation is 50 degrees or above. The opportune period for operation is at age 14-17 (as same surgery for adults will give rise to considerable loss of blood). If a patient's curvature is less than 50 (the benchmark), doctor would prefer to try brace treatment first.

Secondly, the brace treatment is really a tortune. After wearing the brace for 5 years, my daughter's body is full of bruise. She couldn't eat well as she has to wear it for 23 hours (it is hard and tight), leaving only 1 hour to bathe and do exercise. She is terribly thin.

Thirdly, wearing a brace doesn't mean that the curvature could be corrected. Brace treatment is considered as successful only if the curvature could be maintained. That means the best result of your son after a few years' brace treatment is 50 degrees. Moreover, the sharp deterioration usually occurs during adolescence. Your son is only 12. He should have at least 4-5 years to grow. The doctor will check his hand bone to confirm whether his development has been completed. Once completed, he can get rid of the brace but the curvature would be at least 50 degrees.

Last but not the least, the spine operation could correct the curvature to a large extent. My daughter's curvature after operation is 3.8 degrees (from 54.8). However, she still needs to go to physiotherapist 2 times a week to correct her posture (since she is getting used to her imbalanced posture and cannot adapt instantly after substantial correction).

Hope the above could help. Don't be afraid! The surgery is quite sophiscated now. Most important is whether there is a system to monitor the central nerve system amist the surgery. My daughter was discharged only after 8 days' hospitalization. She was able to walk by herself and so were other scoliosis patients.

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My 11 yr old daughter has a double curve, about 32 degrees each. We learned about the Spine-Core brace and it seemed a good alternative to the hard braces. She has been in it for almost two years and is supposed to wear ot 20 hrs per day. It sounds and looks like such a great thing, but the compliance is a big issue, especially since the brace is constantly rubbing her skin raw in places. She has gone through many growth spurts and many adjustments on the brace. Right now, we have almost given up on it. It;s hard to know if it has helped in the two years of moderate wear - she started out at about 25 degrees and is now in the 30's. Maybe she would have been worse by now, maybe not. Every doctor seems to have their own views on bracing, surgery, etc, and many do not seem to share options other than their own beliefs on the subject. 50 degrees seems to be the magic number for surgery. I just learned of a new minimally invasive technique of stapling, or VBS, which can be done in place of bracing, and before surgery is needed - I'll be checking that out next when I visit the Shriners Hospital in Philly as per a reference from a fellow parent of a scoliosis child. Good luck and I suggest gathering as much info as possible. Ultimately, every case seems to be unique in its own way.

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My son is 16 years old and has a 70 degree curve. I know that is considered more severe, but as he has cerebral palsy, I am looking for alternatives to surgery. I also came acros the SpinCor system and am wondering if you pursued this further?

Thank you.

Angie

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I have scoliosis and i am 15. I have about a 35 degree curve on both sides of the s-shape curve. My specialist said that the brace was not an option for me and the surgery wasone but as i am a heavy dancer it could stop me. I am now under going some physiotherapy has your doctor sugested that ?

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