View Full Version : Braces

12-03-2005, 02:45 PM
I was curious as to how many of you wore a brace, and if so what kind. Did you get surgery anyway, and do you think it helps the progression at least a bit?

I wore one for four years, the Boston brace. It was annoying, and it hurt to sit or sleep with it(I had to wear it 23 hours a day), and it also gave me digestive problems. But i have to say that it did not show and I wotre it under any type of clothes(I wasn't wearing sexy clothes in my early mid teens so it didn't bother me that much). I had surgery anyway but I know i would have regretted it if I didn't at least try wearing it, as I wanted to avoid surgery at all cost, and now I know why :o

12-03-2005, 06:25 PM
Hello Sweetness,

I wore a Milwaukee Brace during my teenage years in the 70's. It helped a little. Unfortunately, my curvature progressed and in Feb 2003 at age 42 I had surgery.

Kindest Regards,

12-03-2005, 06:50 PM
I wore a brace for 9 years all up........7 yearsish from when I was 15 months of age to about age 7. Then from ages 11 to 13. It was a TLSO brace..........all it really did was buy me 13 years of growth. Whilst at one stage the curvatures were very low.........at the conclusion of bracing they were back where they started (in the 60's)......the curves were very stiff and inflexible.......which meant my spinal fusion got very, little correction

That's life I guess, and the joys of Infantile Idiopathic Scoli in Australia


12-05-2005, 08:42 PM
I think braces have their place - I wore three different ones including the original Milwaukee design in the early sixties and I am sure they bought me time. Ultimately had two fusions, all thoracic, all lumbar fused - two separate surgeres - and that was in the days of body casts. I had three children, and no problems until recently. Now at 53 am finding all sorts of problems with ddd and possibly facing surgery. The idea of back surgery terrifies me after what I went through as a teen. But don't like living with the pain either. I did not have instrumentation - had iliac crest and tibia bone graft = more fun, but today am thank ful that I had no Harrington Rods.

12-06-2005, 02:56 PM
I'm thankful that I waited too, and that my brace must have helped me, since it was hard to wear and got teased but the surgery was far more hard in my opinion. I got the bone graft from the iliac crest as well, but now they don't always do that, I think allografts heal faster from what I have read. It must be easier on the body and recuperating for sure. But iliac crest is still considered the best as far as grafting, again from what I read.

12-06-2005, 04:15 PM
My daughter wore her night brace faithfully for 3 years, and ended up still needing fusion surgery. I think the conclusion out there is that some kids just don't get the correction wearing a brace, no matter what kind or how often worn, BUT it's yet to be determined, who will benefit from bracing. So I'm not really sure where I stand with the whole 23 hour bracing for a huge amount of a child's life. p

12-06-2005, 07:29 PM
"So I'm not really sure where I stand with the whole 23 hour bracing for a huge amount of a child's life"

My parents saw it (and still see that today)..........that we had to give it 'a go', had to take that chance and that risk...........if they hadn't, they would have never known if it would have worked.....for me, if they hadn't braced, I would have ended up with a very big (and very unmanageable), curve.


12-06-2005, 08:29 PM
I wore a Milwaukee brace for many of my teen years. Life was not pleasant being called the "tin can man" along with the physical pain of wearing the brace. I was suppose to wear it for 23 hours a day but I was not totally compliant. When my parents were not home I would take my brace off. After I discontinued wearing the brace I would have dreams (nightmares)about having it off when I should be wearing it. Talk about leaving a scar on your brain.
I ended up having 2 Harrington Rod fusions, the first one in 1972 and the second one due to pseudoarthrosis in 1974.
I almost think depending on the severity of your curve that bracing really had no positive effect on me. Of course conservative treatment before surgery is preferred. I was also placed in Halo Femoral Traction before my first Harrington Rod, to get the most correction in my spine as possible before the surgery and that really didn't produce any positive improvement either. For those of you that don't know what Halo Femoral Traction is.. they drill 2 screws in your front temples and 2 screws in the back of your head and place a halo around your head.. then they drill 2 screws in the medial and lateral side of both knees and they place weights on the head and ends of your legs and increase the weights on a daily basis hoping to stretch and correct the curve of your spine..truely torture...but I was 17 then and endured pretty well. I am now awaiting a date for revision surgery..yikes!!!

12-07-2005, 02:39 PM
To Turtle...

I'm sorry about the pain you went through, I did read about the halo traction and some other posters have had it, truly it must have been so hard :( I read you said you need revision surgery, what is it for? If you don't mind me asking...

I know it must have been hard to wear a Milwaukee brace(for those who did), my friend did and she got teased even more than me, since I wore the Boston but it was not visible, painful yes though. Only when others would touch they would be either weirded out or freaked, and the explanations I gave confused them more, or brought pitty that I didn't like. But for me, I did it to try as much as possible to NOT get surgery, and I think it must have helped me delay it. I was supposed to get it at 18, in '89 with harrinton rods but since I was in not much pain, I left the hospital and got it in '97(with Titanium rods), wich was good since I was pain free until I was 26, and didn't think of my scoliosis much; and I at least lived my wild youth and was flexible as hell. I have had good and bad come out of my surgery, some pains have diminished some, others worse, but I'm now getting my third surgery next week and so I now know why I tried my hardest to not get surgery and my parents deciding on me wearing the brace was a good decision, it helped for those years and bought me time. You never know until you try, and my motto is I did all I could.

12-07-2005, 09:12 PM
Hi Sweetness,
Having had Harrington Rod Fusions (T4 to L3) in the early 70's the result 30 some years later for those of us with hardware inserted is flatback syndrome. In my case my curve has progressed and I experience back pain. I have had a couple of facet blocks which really have helped some of the pain but my main concern in my posture which I fear that I will look like the letter "C" (as I am bent over to the left and bent forward) and that I will loose function as I get older. I hear of many scoliosis patients having to rely on leaning on a walker the older they get. I am fortunate to be pretty functional now (not atheletic of course) and my MD seems to feel I could get good results with the revision surgery (but of course thats what surgeons like to do... surgery).... I find this forum informative as all the knowledge I can get is most helpful. I am planning on having my revision surgery in the spring... just awaiting a call from the schedule coordinator as to available dates..... of course I am slightly apprehensive as I am much older than I was for my previous back surgeries.... and certainly I am much more informed than I was at 17 years old. I appreciate all your input!