View Full Version : TSRH research shows that bracing IS effective!

07-14-2010, 07:23 PM
I just received the most recent TSRH publication in the mail today.

I've scanned the newsletter so that you can read this for yourself. The study was published in the June 2010 issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

I'm not here to debate this but I hope this offers some hope to parents whose kids are still eligible to be braced. If I'd had this information in my hands while Sheena was still pre-surgery, I would have pursued bracing more aggressively.

Texas Scottish Rite in Dallas treats thousands of cases of scoliosis a year at no charge and they are heavily involved in research (they discovered the first gene associated with idiopathic scoliosis); in other words, they are a highly trustworthy source for this information.

Ballet Mom
07-20-2010, 12:11 PM
A comment from Dr. J. A. Herring, chief of staff at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, to a letter from another doctor in the journal regarding the study.


Dr. Price notes that bracing is not benign, and we agree completely. The successful patients in the study wore their braces for more than 12 hours per day averaged over 18 months; no small task. We in no way imply that bracing is easy, just that it is effective. At least now when we encourage a patient to wear the brace, we have evidence that it is worth the effort, and we have some concept of the required daily hours of wear.

John A. Herring, MD, http://www.tsrhc.org/staff-directory-orthopedic.htm
Orthopedic Surgeon
Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Dallas, Texas,
Donald Katz, BS, CO, Richard Browne, PhD, Derek Kelly, MD, and John Birch, MD

07-20-2010, 12:28 PM
This is a slightly better link to the Herring response:


(the one you're using links to the same page, but centers on Price's letter instead of Herring's response.)

07-20-2010, 12:38 PM
I looked up Charles Price (the researcher disputing the validity of these results), and it appears that he's "the lead investigator and research physician for scientific studies related to the Charleston Bending Brace" (according to this site - http://www.cbb.org/The-History-of-Side-Bending-2009.asp).

The Charleston Bending Brace is a night-time only brace. That is, a brace designed for exactly the kind of wear pattern (night only) which Herring's research claims is ineffective for slowing curve progression.

So, one might assume that Price has a dog in this fight.

Ballet Mom
07-20-2010, 01:20 PM
Thanks hdugger!

That's interesting about Dr. Price. I was also surprised that this study seemed to show that bracing at night wasn't as important as bracing before and after school.

My daughter was prescribed the Charleston bending brace when she was first diagnosed at 35 degrees, Risser 0, 12 years and pre-menarchal and progressing in front of my eyes, so I have nothing but good feelings about the Charleston brace. That brace stopped my daughter's curve cold.

Unfortunately, I think it was only luck, or exceptional skill on the part of her initial orthopedist that she was successful in the Charleston brace. Thirty-five degrees is the maximum size of curve to be used in the Charleston brace and she also had a 21 degree compensatory curve. Charlestons should only be used on a single curve. I think the only reason this brace worked on my daughter with this magnitude curve and the amount of progression is because she was very thin with a super-flexible spine and the brace managed to achieve over-correction with it.

After having read the studies on it, I actually went on a hunt for a full-time brace such as the Cheneau brace but didn't follow through because one of the orthopedists we visited convinced my daughter that she wouldn't want to wear a full-time brace! :mad:

Luckily, it seems to have all worked out although it would have been nice to see some of the curve reduction that these Cheneau braces seem to be able to give through growth...and my daughter has certainly had many years of growth since diagnosis. I won't complain though, and I certainly thank the orthopedists we went to for managing to get her through this really stressful time successfully.

If my daughter is one of the few who continue to progress after bracing due to her hyperlax ligaments....there is nothing I can do about that. But it was certainly worth the shot...and she has been able to continue ballet and performing all this time. And that is worth everything.