Common Questions about Scoliosis Braces for Kids

What is the Texas scoliosis school screening program?

There are a lot of questions and misconceptions from families about braces for scoliosis patients. The school screening program in Texas identifies children who would benefit from wearing a brace in order to prevent surgery. Studies show that full-time brace treatment of curves larger than 30 degrees reduces the rate of scoliosis surgery. The school screening program is important because it can catch curves that are not always visually noticeable.

Can braces fix large curves?

Braces are not alternatives to surgery for treatment of large curves, and braces will not make a large curve go away. Brace treatment does not make curves smaller. Braces control the growth of the spine as an adolescent continues growing and will keep the curve from getting larger to avoid surgery. Surgery is recommended when a curve is larger than 50 degrees. Once the brace treatment is stopped, the curve will settle back to its original position before the brace treatment started. Studies show that wearing braces full time reduces the rate of surgery for patients with curves larger than 30 degrees.

Who wears braces?

Only about five to ten percent of children seen for scoliosis evaluations are candidates for the bracing program. Children who are fitted for braces must have a curve that is 25 to 30 degrees or larger and have at least one year of remaining skeletal growth.

How important is it for scoliosis patients to wear their braces?

All studies show that brace compliance is the most important point of success for a bracing program. A full-time brace program is generally recommended. Ideally, the child will remove the brace only for P.E., athletics or showering. Children wear the brace under their clothes during the day and sleep in it at night. If a child does not wear the brace full time, it’s unlikely the brace will control the growth of the spine as he or she grows. Braces are the only treatment that will prevent curves from progressing to surgery.