How Much Curve Is Too Much? A curve anywhere from 5 to 30 degrees—up, down, left, or right—is normal, says Baptiste. If you can get an erection, and the bend doesn’t bother you or your partner during sex, your curve doesn’t need treatment, he says.
- 1 Is a 30 degree curve bad?
- 2 Can 10 degree scoliosis be fixed?
- 3 Can scoliosis be cured 100%?
- 4 At what age does scoliosis stop progressing?
- 5 At what degree does scoliosis become painful?
- 6 Is 8 degree scoliosis bad?
- 7 Is 48 degree scoliosis bad?
- 8 Can scoliosis get worse after you stop growing?
- 9 How do you fix 30 degree scoliosis?
- 10 How much curve is okay?
Is a 30 degree curve bad?
A mild curve is less than 20 degrees. A moderate curve is between 25 degrees and 40 degrees. A severe curve is more than 50 degrees.
Can you live with a 50 degree scoliosis curve?
It’s not about the curve – If you received your scoliosis diagnosis as a child or teen, you may remember the doctor noting that minor curves don’t require treatment, but if you have a C-curve that measures between, you need treatment, such as bracing.
- If your C-curve becomes severe (i.e., more than 40 degrees), or if you develop an S-shaped curve, you need surgery.
- As an adult, a scoliosis curve is only considered to be severe if it’s more than Even in such a case, you may not need treatment.
- However, if you’re having symptoms, if our doctors notice other problems on examination, or if you have a complex S-curve, they may recommend nonsurgical or surgical treatment.
Symptoms that could warrant treatment include:
Trouble breathingTrouble standingFatigueBack or leg painNumb or weak legsMuscle spasmsLoss of heightPremature satiety
If you have symptoms such as shortness of breath or feeling full after eating a small amount of food, your spinal curve may be pressing against your lungs or stomach.
Can 10 degree scoliosis be fixed?
Conservative Scoliosis Treatment Approach – Here at the Scoliosis Reduction Center, I favor a conservative, aka functional and chiropractic-centered, treatment approach that strives to preserve as much of the spine’s natural function as possible. Unlike the traditional treatment approach that would respond to 10 degrees of scoliosis with watching and waiting, I respond with the application of proactive treatment as close to the time of diagnosis as possible.
I want to be proactive, particularly with my mild cases, because when successful, I can prevent progression, increasing condition severity, escalating symptoms, and the need for invasive treatment in the future. While early detection doesn’t guarantee treatment success, it does increase its chances and means there are fewer limits to what we can achieve.
By integrating multiple forms of treatment, I can impact conditions on multiple levels, both structurally and in terms of increasing core strength, so the spine is optimally supported and stabilized by its surrounding muscles. As a scoliosis chiropractor, I know the spine and how a scoliotic spine responds to treatment, so I can customize treatment plans to suit the patient and their condition type and adjust treatment disciplines to make them condition-specific.
Does 40 degree scoliosis need surgery?
Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine. It is most often diagnosed in childhood or early adolescence. The spine’s normal curves occur at the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions in the so-called “sagittal” plane. These natural curves position the head over the pelvis and work as shock absorbers to distribute mechanical stress during movement.
Coronal plane Sagittal plane Axial plane
The coronal plane is a vertical plane from head to foot and parallel to the shoulders, dividing the body into anterior (front) and posterior (back) sections. The sagittal plane divides the body into right and left halves. The axial plane is parallel to the plane of the ground and at right angles to the coronal and sagittal planes.
- Scoliosis affects 2-3 percent of the population, or an estimated six to nine million people in the United States.
- Scoliosis can develop in infancy or early childhood.
- However, the primary age of onset for scoliosis is 10-15 years old, occurring equally among both genders.
- Females are eight times more likely to progress to a curve magnitude that requires treatment.
Every year, scoliosis patients make more than 600,000 visits to private physician offices, an estimated 30,000 children are fitted with a brace and 38,000 patients undergo spinal fusion surgery. Source: National Scoliosis Foundation, June 2007. Scoliosis can be classified by etiology: idiopathic, congenital or neuromuscular,
- Idiopathic scoliosis is the diagnosis when all other causes are excluded and comprises about 80 percent of all cases.
- Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type of scoliosis and is usually diagnosed during puberty.
- Congenital scoliosis results from embryological malformation of one or more vertebrae and may occur in any location of the spine.
The vertebral abnormalities cause curvature and other deformities of the spine because one area of the spinal column lengthens at a slower rate than the rest. The geometry and location of the abnormalities determine the rate at which the scoliosis progresses in magnitude as the child grows.
- Because these abnormalities are present at birth, congenital scoliosis is usually detected at a younger age than idiopathic scoliosis.
- Neuromuscular scoliosis encompasses scoliosis that is secondary to neurological or muscular diseases.
- This includes scoliosis associated with cerebral palsy, spinal cord trauma, muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy and spina bifida.
This type of scoliosis generally progresses more rapidly than idiopathic scoliosis and often requires surgical treatment. There are several signs that may indicate the possibility of scoliosis. If one or more of the following signs is noticed, schedule an appointment with a doctor.
Shoulders are uneven – one or both shoulder blades may stick out Head is not centered directly above the pelvis One or both hips are raised or unusually high Rib cages are at different heights Waist is uneven The appearance or texture of the skin overlying the spine changes (dimples, hairy patches, color abnormalities) The entire body leans to one side
In one study, about 23 percent of patients with idiopathic scoliosis presented with back pain at the time of initial diagnosis. Ten percent of these patients were found to have an underlying associated condition such as spondylolisthesis, syringomyelia, tethered cord, herniated disc or spinal tumor.
If a patient with diagnosed idiopathic scoliosis has more than mild back discomfort, a thorough evaluation for another cause of pain is advised. Due to changes in the shape and size of the thorax, idiopathic scoliosis may affect pulmonary function. Recent reports on pulmonary function testing in patients with mild to moderate idiopathic scoliosis showed diminished pulmonary function.
Scoliosis is usually confirmed through a physical examination, an x-ray, spinal radiograph, CT scan or MRI. The curve is measured by the Cobb Method and is diagnosed in terms of severity by the number of degrees. A positive diagnosis of scoliosis is made based on a coronal curvature measured on a posterior-anterior radiograph of greater than 10 degrees.
In general, a curve is considered significant if it is greater than 25 to 30 degrees. Curves exceeding 45 to 50 degrees are considered severe and often require more aggressive treatment. A standard exam that is sometimes used by pediatricians and in grade school screenings is called the Adam’s Forward Bend Test.
During this test, the patient leans forward with his or her feet together and bends 90 degrees at the waist. From this angle, any asymmetry of the trunk or any abnormal spinal curvatures can easily be detected by the examiner. This is a simple initial screening test that can detect potential problems, but cannot determine accurately the exact type or severity of the deformity.
X-ray : Application of radiation to produce a film or picture of a part of the body can show the structure of the vertebrae and the outline of the joints. X-rays of the spine are obtained to search for other potential causes of pain, i.e. infections, fractures, deformities, etc.
Computed tomography scan (CT or CAT scan) : A diagnostic image created after a computer reads X-rays; can show the shape and size of the spinal canal, its contents and the structures around it. Very good at visualizing bony structures.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) : A diagnostic test that produces three-dimensional images of body structures using powerful magnets and computer technology; can show the spinal cord, nerve roots and surrounding areas, as well as enlargement, degeneration and deformities.
Scoliosis in children is classified by age: 1.) Infantile (0 to 3 years); 2.) Juvenile (3 to 10 years); and 3.) Adolescent (age 11 and older, or from onset of puberty until skeletal maturity). Idiopathic scoliosis comprises the vast majority of cases presenting during adolescence.
Depending on its severity and the age of the child, scoliosis is managed by close observation, bracing and/or surgery. In children with congenital scoliosis, there is a known increased incidence of other congenital abnormalities. These are most commonly associated with the spinal cord (20 percent), the genitourinary system (20 to 33 percent) and the heart (10 to 15 percent).
It is important that evaluation of the neurological, genitourinary and cardiovascular systems is undertaken when congenital scoliosis is diagnosed. Scoliosis that occurs or is diagnosed in adulthood is distinctive from childhood scoliosis, since the underlying causes and goals of treatment differ in patients who have already reached skeletal maturity.
Most adults with scoliosis can be divided into the following categories: 1.) Adult scoliosis patients who were surgically treated as adolescents; 2.) Adults who did not receive treatment when they were younger; and 3.) Adults with a type of scoliosis called degenerative scoliosis. In one 20-year study, about 40 percent of adult scoliosis patients experienced a progression.
Of those, 10 percent showed a very significant progression, while the other 30 percent experienced a very mild progression, usually of less than one degree per year. Degenerative scoliosis occurs most frequently in the lumbar spine (lower back) and more commonly affects people age 65 and older.
- It is often accompanied by spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the spinal canal, which pinches the spinal nerves and makes it difficult for them to function normally.
- Back pain associated with degenerative scoliosis usually begins gradually and is linked with activity.
- The curvature of the spine in this form of scoliosis is often relatively minor, so surgery may only be advised when conservative methods fail to alleviate pain associated with the condition.
When there is a confirmed diagnosis of scoliosis, there are several issues to assess that can help determine treatment options:
Spinal maturity – is the patient’s spine still growing and changing? Degree and extent of curvature – how severe is the curve and how does it affect the patient’s lifestyle? Location of curve – according to some experts, thoracic curves are more likely to progress than curves in other regions of the spine. Possibility of curve progression – patients who have large curves prior to their adolescent growth spurts are more likely to experience curve progression.
After these variables are assessed, the following treatment options may be recommended:
Observation Bracing Surgery
In many children with scoliosis, the spinal curve is mild enough to not require treatment. However, if the doctor is worried that the curve may be increasing, he or she may wish to examine the child every four to six months throughout adolescence. In adults with scoliosis, X-rays are usually recommended once every five years, unless symptoms are getting progressively worse.
Braces are only effective in patients who have not reached skeletal maturity. If the child is still growing and his or her curve is between 25 degrees and 40 degrees, a brace may be recommended to prevent the curve from progressing. There have been improvements in brace design and the newer models fit under the arm, not around the neck.
There are several different types of braces available. While there is some disagreement among experts as to which type of brace is most effective, large studies indicate that braces, when used with full compliance, successfully stop curve progression in about 80 percent of children with scoliosis.
For optimal effectiveness, the brace should be checked regularly to assure a proper fit and may need to be worn 16 to 23 hours every day until growth stops. In children, the two primary goals of surgery are to stop the curve from progressing during adulthood and to diminish spinal deformity. Most experts would recommend surgery only when the spinal curve is greater than 40 degrees and there are signs of progression.
This surgery can be done using an anterior approach (through the front) or a posterior approach (through the back) depending on the particular case. Some adults who were treated as children may need revision surgery, in particular if they were treated 20 to 30 years ago, before major advances in spinal surgery procedures were implemented.
Back then, it was common to fuse a long segment of the spine. When many vertebral segments of the spine are fused together, the remaining mobile segments assume much more of the load and the stress associated with movements. Adjacent segment disease is the process in which degenerative changes occur over time in the mobile segments above and below the spinal fusion.
This can result in painful arthritis of the discs, facet joints and ligaments. In general, surgery in adults may be recommended when the spinal curve is greater than 50 degrees and the patient has nerve damage to their legs and/or is experiencing bowel or bladder symptoms.
Adults with degenerative scoliosis and spinal stenosis may require decompression surgery with spinal fusion and a surgical approach from both the front and back. A number of factors can lead to increased surgical-related risks in older adults with degenerative scoliosis. These factors include the following: advanced age, being a smoker, being overweight and the presence of other health/medical problems.
In general, both surgery and recovery time are expected to be longer in older adults with scoliosis. Posterior approach: The most frequently performed surgery for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis involves posterior spinal fusion with instrumentation and bone grafting.
This is performed through the back while the patient lies on his or her stomach. During this surgery, the spine is straightened with rigid rods, followed by spinal fusion. Spinal fusion involves adding a bone graft to the curved area of the spine, which creates a solid union between two or more vertebrae.
The metal rods attached to the spine ensure that the backbone remains straight while the spinal fusion takes effect. This procedure usually takes several hours in children, but will generally take longer in older adults. With recent advances in technology, most people with idiopathic scoliosis are released within a week of surgery and do not require post-surgical bracing.
- Most patients are able to return to school or work in two to four weeks post surgery and are able to resume all pre-surgical activities within four to six months.
- Anterior approach: The patient lies on his or her side during the surgery.
- The surgeon makes incisions in the patient’s side, deflates the lung and removes a rib in order to reach the spine.
Video-assisted thoracoscopic (VAT) surgery offers enhanced visualization of the spine and is a less invasive surgery than an open procedure. The anterior spinal approach has several potential advantages: better deformity correction, quicker patient rehabilitation, improved spine mobilization and fusion of fewer segments.
The potential disadvantages are that many patients require bracing for several months post surgery, and this approach has a higher risk of morbidity – although VAT has helped to reduce the latter. Decompressive laminectomy: The laminae (roof) of the vertebrae are removed to create more space for the nerves.
A spinal fusion with or without spinal instrumentation is often recommended when scoliosis and spinal stenosis are present. Various devices (like screws or rods) may be used to enhance fusion and support unstable areas of the spine. Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) : Fusion can sometimes be performed via smaller incisions through MIS.
The use of advanced fluoroscopy (X-ray imaging during surgery) and endoscopy (camera technology) has improved the accuracy of incisions and hardware placement, minimizing tissue trauma while enabling a MIS approach. It is important to keep in mind that not all cases can be treated in this manner and a number of factors contribute to the surgical method used.
The benefits of surgery should always be weighed carefully against its risks. Although a large percentage of scoliosis patients benefit from surgery, there is no guarantee that surgery will stop curve progression and symptoms in every individual. The AANS does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products or physicians referenced in these patient fact sheets.
How common is 40 degree scoliosis?
How common is severe scoliosis? – Around 0.2% of people have a scoliotic spinal curve measuring in excess of 30 degrees; only 0.1% percent have a Cobb angle exceeding 40 degrees. Treatment is usually recommended before the curve gets as far as 40 degrees – this treatment may consist of physical therapy, preventative measures (such as bracing), and/or corrective surgery (usually reserved for the most severe cases).
It is important to note that scoliosis is not considered to be a fatal condition, The curve caused by scoliosis cannot directly result in an individual’s death; that being said, there are some secondary risks which can occur as a result of the condition, resulting in complications for a very small number of patients.
Do you have more questions about scoliosis? Click here to learn about our non-surgical treatment methods, or get in touch to arrange a consultation with Scoliosis SOS.
Does 45 degree scoliosis need surgery?
Do I need surgery? – If your curve is greater than 45 to 50 degrees, it will very likely get worse, even after you are fully grown. This may increase the cosmetic deformity in your back, as well as affect your lung function. Surgery is recommended. Curves between 40 and 50 degrees in a growing child fall into a grey area — several factors may influence whether surgery is recommended.
Is 20 too late to treat scoliosis?
While scoliosis is far more commonly diagnosed in adolescence, adults can also develop the condition and come to me for treatment. Once skeletal maturity has been reached, the treatment focus shifts to reducing a curvature back to where it was before it started to produce noticeable symptoms, such as pain.
Read on to find out how we accomplish this. While adult scoliosis can be managed through active treatment, no form of the condition can be fully ‘corrected’, meaning ‘cured’. This is because as a progressive and incurable condition, scoliosis is virtually guaranteed to get worse over time. While adult scoliosis can progress slowly, there is still a cumulative effect, and this is why engaging in active treatment is so important.
Before we move on to exploring the specifics of adult scoliosis in terms of treatment and symptoms, let’s take a look at where adult scoliosis fits in terms of condition form and prevalence.
Can scoliosis be cured 100%?
Is It Possible To Fix Scoliosis? – Scoliosis is a condition that can’t be cured. As such, there’s no option to “fix” scoliosis, at least not to 100%. However, scoliosis can be treated in a way that helps “correct” the curvature, reducing the angle of the curvature and improving the spinal alignment.
Additionally, treatment can also effectively reduce and manage any pain or discomfort associated with scoliosis. It’s also important to note that not all treatment programs are the same. The goal of a specific treatment program will depend on the severity of the curvature, the age when the scoliosis was diagnosed, and other factors.
For example, when treating adolescents, the goal is typically to prevent progression and reduce the angle of the spinal curvature to under 30 degrees, which helps to reduce the risk of progression in adulthood. On the other hand, when treating adults, the goal is usually to prevent or slow the progression and relieve pain.
At what age does scoliosis stop progressing?
As usual, every case is different. – Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast answer to either of the above questions. Some spinal curves don’t progress at all after a certain point, while others progress very rapidly and continue to do so until action is taken.
Let’s take a look at the most common form of scoliosis – idiopathic scoliosis, In most cases of idiopathic scoliosis, the curve develops around the time the patient hits puberty, then continues to progress throughout their adolescence until their spine has finished growing (usually at age 16-18). However, the rate of progression can vary greatly from one person to the next, and there’s no guarantee that the progression will cease as soon as the patient stops growing.
No two cases are alike! Things get even more complicated when you take into account all the other different forms of scoliosis. While most cases of scoliosis are idiopathic (i.e. lacking a clear underlying cause), the condition can also be triggered by any number of other factors, from neuromuscular diseases to the human body’s natural ageing process.
What is the largest scoliosis curve?
Scoliosis Curvature Range – Scoliosis curvatures can range from mild to severe with mild scoliosis defined as a curvature degree of 10 to 25, moderate falling into the 25-40 degree range and severe scoliosis at 45+ degrees. Once you break 80 degrees, there is a new term: extreme scoliosis.
At what degree does scoliosis become painful?
Generally speaking, scoliosis does not cause pain in the early stages. However, scoliosis pain and symptoms become prominent once the scoliotic curve progress beyond a 30-degree curve. Generally, a scoliotic curve is not painful in adolescents.
Is 8 degree scoliosis bad?
Overview – Scoliosis means abnormal curvature of the spine greater than 10 degrees, as measured on an X-ray. Anything less than 10 degrees is considered normal variation in a normal individual. The curvature takes place in three dimensions. Normally, the spine is straight when looking at a person from the front or back.
- When looking at a person from the side, the spine is curved.
- There is a gentle bending forward of the spine in the chest and a bending backward, called lordosis, between the chest and the pelvis.
- In scoliosis, the spine appears S-shaped when looking at the front or back.
- When looking at the side, the normally curved spine typically straightens out.
In addition, the spine twists on its axis, pushing the ribs and flanks backward and forward to produce a prominence, or hump.
How bad is 50 degree scoliosis?
Symptoms of 50 Degree Scoliosis – The risk of developing complications such as migraines, sleep troubles, digestive issues, etc., are higher once a patient crosses into that severe scoliosis level. In children and adolescents, at this level, some form of pain is likely to be an issue, even if it’s related to headaches and muscle pain, more so than back pain.
- Postural changes for children and adolescents with severe scoliosis are going to be overt, and this is often where the desire for surgery is ignited as cosmetic reasons are the most common motivation behind getting scoliosis surgery.
- Adults with a 50-degree curve have progressed significantly and are bound to have some degree of spinal degeneration to also contend with, and as progression causes spinal rigidity, at this level, the spine is going to be less responsive to treatment.
Adults with severe scoliosis are likely to experience mobility issues and find it difficult and painful to remain sitting or standing for long periods of time, and once severe, while rare, adult scoliosis can also cause varying levels of limb impairment.
Is 48 degree scoliosis bad?
Severe Scoliosis in Adolescents – At a Cobb angle measurement of 40 – 60+ degrees, we are into the ‘severe scoliosis’ classification. At this stage, postural changes can become very noticeable, and the potential for causing related adverse symptoms is increased.
- Traditional treatment : with severe scoliosis, the two earlier responses of watching and waiting or using a Boston brace to stop progression would be continued.
- This is also the stage that funnels patients towards spinal-fusion surgery as their condition approaches a surgical-level curve at 45 – 60+ degrees.
If a patient is at high risk for continued progression, spinal fusion is often recommended as the best treatment option. Spinal fusion, however, is invasive and carries heavy side effects and numerous risk factors. Functional treatment : at the 40 – 60+ degree range, we could continue our integrative approach to treatment in an effort to reduce the patient’s degree of curvature below surgical-curve level.
This would include a continued combination of chiropractic adjustments, rehabilitation, at-home exercises, and corrective bracing. In the functional approach, a different level of bracing is used: the corrective ScoliBrace. The ScoliBrace doesn’t just work towards slowing/stopping progression, like the Boston brace, but actually correcting the abnormal spinal curvature.
It is 100-percent customized to suit the patient’s body and condition, making it far more comfortable to wear and lessening the compliance issue. Our main goal, at this stage, is not only to correct a patient’s abnormal curvature as much as possible, but to help them avoid spinal-fusion surgery and all the heavy risk factors and potential side effects that go along with it.
What is the rarest scoliosis?
Of the three main types of scoliosis, congenital scoliosis is the least common, affecting about 1 in 10,000 newborns. Congenital scoliosis occurs when the vertebrae do not form normally before a baby is born. This type of scoliosis can vary in severity from mild to life threatening.
What is the treatment for 40 degree scoliosis?
What is Moderate Scoliosis? – Once a scoliosis curve has reached the 25-40 degree range, it’s considered moderate. Moderate scoliosis treatment usually involves wearing a rigid brace that forces the spine back into alignment in an attempt to prevent the curve from progressing further.
Can a 15 degree scoliosis be reversed?
If you’ve been diagnosed with scoliosis, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible because the condition very often progresses (gets worse) as time goes by. Left untreated, the curve in your spine will become more and more pronounced, potentially taking a greater and greater toll on your daily life as it does so.
Wearing a scoliosis brace can arrest the progression of scoliosis while your body is still growing, but is it possible to actually reverse the progression of your scoliosis? Is it possible to make the curve shrink over time instead of growing larger? Happily, the answer is yes – given the right type of treatment, scoliosis can be reversed,
Surgery is one option; if you choose to undergo spinal fusion surgery, your surgeon will straighten your spine using a series of rods before performing a bone graft to hold the spine in place. Click here to read more about the spinal fusion procedure and what to expect if you go in for surgery.
Can scoliosis get worse after you stop growing?
Scoliosis is a progressive condition – it does tend to get worse as you age. However, scoliosis is somewhat unusual in that it does not have what we might call a “predictable trajectory” – this is to say that you cannot simply assume that after X years, scoliosis will have increased by X degrees.
Rather, it often accelerates during growth spurts – and even outside of this develops at an unpredictable rate. It’s for this reason that we encourage people never to “wait and see” when it comes to scoliosis – a year waiting may see very little change in the condition, or it might be a lot It is possible to predict the rate of growth to some extent – and indeed, in cases of adult scoliosis (that is to say scoliosis which began in childhood and was carried into adulthood), we can estimate the increase in curvature to be approximately 0.82° per year.
By contrast, the rate at which scoliosis increases in young patients depends more upon risk factors such as the severity of scoliosis considering age, the rigidity of curve, and family history. What we do know, is that Juvenile scoliosis greater than 30 degrees tends to increase rapidly and left untreated presents a 100% prognosis for surgery, whereas curves from 21 to 30 degrees are more difficult to predict but can frequently end up requiring surgery, or at least causing significant disability.
How do you fix 30 degree scoliosis?
Bracing for scoliosis – If your child’s spinal curve is greater than 20 degrees, your physician might suggest a custom-made brace. This is most typically prescribed for patients with curvatures greater than 25-30 degrees with significant skeletal growth remaining.
A health care professional called an orthotist makes the brace, working closely with your physician to ensure correct fit and comfort. The goal of bracing is not to correct the curvature but is used to prevent a spinal curvature from worsening as the patient grows. To be effective, the child must typically wear the brace for a minimum of 18 hours a day.
Not everyone is a good candidate for a brace – it depends on the type of scoliosis and extent of your child’s spinal curve. Your physician will explain the best option for your child.
How much curve is okay?
How Much Curve Is Too Much? A curve anywhere from 5 to 30 degrees—up, down, left, or right—is normal, says Baptiste. If you can get an erection, and the bend doesn’t bother you or your partner during sex, your curve doesn’t need treatment, he says.
How do you treat 30 degree scoliosis?
30 degrees to 50 degrees – In this range, bracing is the standard of care in the United States. The scoliosis brace is known as a TLSO, which stands for thoraco-lumbar spinal orthotic. The idea behind bracing is to stop or slow progression of the curve so that it stays under 50 degrees.
- An X-ray of a brace shows that the brace can straighten the spine, but the spine will return to its original curvature when the brace is removed.
- The two principal types used are the Milwaukee brace, developed by Dr.
- Walter Blount of Milwaukee, and the Boston brace, developed by Dr.
- John Hall of Boston.
The brace is worn more than 20 hours per day. Time is allowed out of the brace for hygiene and for sports. Part-time bracing doesn’t work as well and may not work at all. The child is weaned into the custom-made brace gradually over a two-week period. This allows the child to adjust and prevents significant skin irritation from the brace.
After two weeks of full-time wear, or approximately four weeks after initial fitting of the brace, the child is seen in the office for X-rays in the brace. Successful bracing reduces the curve by half or better as determined by X-rays. At later visits, X-rays are taken out of the brace, which is removed the night before to allow full relaxation of the spine and a more realistic measure of the degree of curvature.
Brace treatment successfully stops curve progression in about 80 percent of children.
How much curve in spine is normal?
Anatomy of a Healthy Spine – A healthy spine will appear straight when viewed from the front or back, and when viewed from the sides, it will have a soft ‘S’ shape. This is because of the spine’s natural and healthy curves. As mentioned, these natural curves make the spine stronger, enable its flexibility/range of motion, and help it to absorb stress from impact and movement. There are three main sections of the spine, and each section’s curvature depends on the health of the others: cervical (neck), thoracic (middle/upper back), and lumbar (lower spine). There are two curvature types, those that bend inwards, towards the body’s center, known as lordosis, and those that bend outwards, away from the body’s center, known as kyphosis,
- Lordosis involves the cervical and lumbar sections, while kyphosis characterizes the thoracic spine.
- If the spine’s natural lordosis and kyphosis fall beyond a normal range, these curves become exaggerated and disrupt the spine’s overall function and biomechanics, known as hyperlordosis and hyperkyphosi s,
In the cervical spine, a normal range of lordosis is 20 to 40 degrees, and in the lumbar section, a normal lordotic spine curve would fall between 40 and 60 degrees; at the thoracic level, a normal range of kyphosis is between 20 and 40 degrees. As you can see, the spine’s healthy curves still have a significant size range, and it’s when a person’s spinal curves fall beyond a normal range that problems can occur.
- There are numerous additional spinal conditions that involve a loss of the spine’s healthy curves, such as scoliosis: the most prevalent spinal condition amongst school-aged children in the United States.
- In fact, scoliosis is more common than most people realize with the National Scoliosis Foundation putting current estimates of people living with scoliosis in the States to be close to 7 million.
If the spine develops an unnatural sideways curve, this can be diagnosed as scoliosis, but certain parameters have to be met to reach a scoliosis diagnosis.