View Full Version : New to forum. Boston vs. spinecor brace

Izzy's Mom
09-13-2008, 07:37 AM
Hi everyone,

We are new to this forum. First I would like to thank everyone for posting on this forum. Your experiences have been a great help to us. My name is Theresa and my daughter, Isabella, was diagnosed with scoliosis at the end of August. She is 7 years old and has a c curve which is at 34 degrees. We have had our first appt. with an orthopedic surgeon and he has recommened the Boston Brace. I have been doing a fair amount of research online and have been reading some of your experiences here at the forum. We are very interested in the Spinecor brace. I have talked to someone at Dr.Rivard's office in Montreal. We are still contemplating which brace would work best for Isabella. If anyone can share their experience, good or bad, with either brace, that would be wonderful. Thanks again!


09-13-2008, 08:29 AM

My 13 yo son got a SpineCor brace a year ago after 6 months in a Boston brace, which did not hold his curve. By the time we got the SpineCor, his curve was in the mid 40s. The Spinecor did not hold it either, and now we are facing fusion surgery this fall. That said, there are a number of parents with children who got the SpineCor brace at a lower curve and earlier age, and are seeing good or excellent results. Some curves are just relentless, as my son's was, but the SpineCor allowed him to be much more active during the last year (he's still wearing it), and we are not sorry about our choice. Knowing what we know now, we probably would have gone to SpineCor first, but it's an individual (and difficult!) decision for everyone.

Sounds like you are doing good research. Good luck!

09-13-2008, 09:05 AM
I know what a difficult decision you are facing. I am in the same boat and have decided to go with the spinecor. My daughter is 12 and has a 29-L and 25-T double curve. She has been measured and will be braced in about three weeks. I will try to keep in touch and let you know how it is going! Wish you and yours all the best! :)

Izzy's Mom
09-13-2008, 09:53 AM
Hi again,

Thank you both for your reply. As you've both stated, this is a difficult decision to make. Every little bit of information or experiences shared is a huge help. It is so hard to make this decision based on facts alone, without letting your emotions get the best of you. It just seems that the spinecor brace makes more sense to me. Isabella is an active 7 year old who loves sports and enjoys running around outside playing with her friends. I feel that the Boston brace would restrict her from what she loves doing the most- being a happy 7 year old little girl. Both braces have positive results, it just seems as though the spinecor brace would better fit our lifestyle. Ofcourse, if the boston would have better results than the spinecor, we would gladly go with that choice. We just want whats best for our daughter.


09-14-2008, 03:21 PM

I don't envy the decision you have to make at all. My daughter was diagnosed at 5. The orthos have not recommended a brace for her, but I went ahead and got her into a Spinecor brace at age 8. She has been wearing it for about 15 months now. Her curve is stable, out of brace about 24 degrees. So I am thankful for that. I opted to put Emily in the Spinecor in the hopes of never having to use a boston brace. Being that Emily is only
9, I have no way of knowing if this is going to work, but I am glad that we are at least trying it. If the curve eventually begins to progress, then I will have to weigh whether to try a boston or continue with a Spinecor.

Emily now has a ten year old friend who is wearing a boston brace. It appears to me that the girl is having a harder time adjusting to her brace than Emily did. It is definitely a lot hotter and heavier than the Spincor. In fact, yesterday, Emily tried on her friend's brace, just to see what it felt like. She didn't seem impressed with it. Last night once the child went home, I forgot to ask Emily what she thought about it, I'll have to ask her tonight.

09-14-2008, 04:36 PM
Hi Teresa,

Welcome to the forum! I am pretty new here too. My daughter Jen has been in her brace about two months now and is doing fine with it. We decided to go with the Spinecor because as it was explained to us that the Boston Brace main purpose is to hold the curve whereas the Spinecor is also to hold the curve but in addition to achieve some correction. We are going to Miller's Children Hospital in Long Beach, CA and Jen is the first child trying the Spinecor Brace. Her Doctor, Dr. Emory Chang, said that he it will be fantasic if it actually does some correction but he said even if it only holds the curve he will put all his scoliosis patients that are at a low enough curve because he feels they will be more comfortable in it and be more likely to wear it as a result. Also her ortho said that he used both the Boston Brace and Spinecor in AZ and saw equal hold with them as long as the child wears them as prescribed so he said that is really the key. He said % of effectiveness really drops when they don't wear the Spinecor at least 20 hours a day. So Jen has been really good about making sure her breaks don't go over 4 hours a day total. She started school on the 3rd and said no one has even noticed she has it on unless they give her a hug and feel it. All her friends have been very supportive and she is handling it very well so far. If you do get the Spinecor you will need to get bodysuits for her to use as underwear. We got Jen's at http://www.bodysuit.com/ so take a look. The Spinecor one that comes with it is ok but Jen thinks the bodysuit style is more comfortable. The only issue she has had so far is the leg bands rub if she runs or walks too much, like Disneyland all day or running the mile at school. We got a pair of bike shorts that you can get at http://www.discountdance.com/spframe_set.php3?mf=/dancewear/page_KID_p1.html&utm_source=DDS&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Kids&utm_campaign=cinderellastory091208 for when she does these things and that works well. We wash it once a week in a garmet bag. If you have any other questions please feel free to contact me. Also at her first x-ray with the brace her ortho said he would be happy if it held the curve and her curve went from 31 to 26 so everyone was really happy. Take care, I know how hard it is to make the decision. Kathy

09-14-2008, 10:21 PM
Theresa, We have just under a year's experience with spinecor so we're not that useful a source of information, although you can see some of our details thus far in my signature. Good luck with your decision!

Kathy, just curious, was her 26 degree reading in brace or out of brace?

09-15-2008, 12:13 AM
Hi jillw,

Actually it was 25 a six degree change (I was thinking six when I typed in 26 I guess) and it was in brace. She is 13 so we didn't expect to see the dramatic degree change younger children see. Her ortho said he would be happy if it was 31 or less at the first in-brace x-ray, that with Spinecor it is a gradual decrease unlike the Boston that is pretty instant. But he said that with Boston that when they take it off it goes back to the same degree or worse and with Spinecor it should be the same degree or better. Our ortho came with us to her Dr. appt. because of it being his first patient using Sprinecor. So we got to hear him explain the difference between the Boston and Spinecor to the doctor which was good. Anyway you have probably heard it all. If anyone elses Dr. or ortho has explained things differently I would be interested in hearing what they said.


Kathy, just curious, was her 26 degree reading in brace or out of brace?[/QUOTE]

Izzy's Mom
09-15-2008, 08:35 AM
Hi everyone,

Thanks again for sharing your experiences and for all of your support. This has been a difficult decision to make. I's not just as simple as "Should I wear the black dress or the red dress?" This is a huge choice which effects our daughter's health. I spoke with another mom yesterday whose daughter had a similiar situation as ours. Her daughter has been in the spinecor for 2 years. She has had wonderful results and loves the brace. After doing more research and speaking with my husband, we have decided to give Spinecor a try. I hope we are making the right decision. I spoke with someone in Montreal on Friday and I have to call back today to make our appointment with Dr. Rivard. I hope she is a good canidate for this brace because I cannot see putting her in a hard brace at this age if its not necessary. I will let everyone know how things work out for us.

09-15-2008, 09:41 AM
Hi Theresa

You must feel so sort of releif having made a descision. Remember that if you are not happy with Spinecor you can always go to the Boston, you have some time. As far as planning the trip, I can give you suggestions, things that we have learned.

Make sure you have Birthcert for everyone crossing the border. If just you or your husband goes alone I think you need a letter from the other parent giving permisson to cross (not sure but check it out) The border crossing is very easy if you have your paperwork. I am preety sure you don't need passports YET.

Remember to get all your receipts at the hospital for insurance. We always get a disk of the x rays too to share with docs. here. (we forgot once, what a PAIN!!)

If you decide to go for the brace you will get 1 bodysuit. I suggest getting a couple more while you are there. My daughter will only wear the Spinecor bodysuits ($60.00 per suit) We treat them like gold. You may find an alternative that your daughter likes but having a couple will hold you over till you find something.

We usually spend the night before the appointment in a hotel to help break up the trip. We have been staying in Plattsberg NY. We stopped at the Great Escape once also near lke George, That was a blast!! But a bit expensive.
After our appointment we drive right home, It takes us 7 hours. I have found that Map Quest have very good directions. The 1st time we went we ended up at the wrong hospital. you want 3175 Chemin Cote-sainte-catherine Montreal QC H3T, CA

You can call me anytime, I can share how we handled introducing the brace to her freinds ect...

Izzy's Mom
09-15-2008, 10:17 AM
Hi Christine,

Thanks for all the great info. You don' know how much this means to me and my family. Last night I looked up the directions on mapquest. It should take us about 10 1/2 hours fom Pittsburgh. I'm origonally from northeastern Pa. We can stop at my parents' house in Scranton,Pa to break up the trip. We have also considered flying. My husband has accumulated frequent fyer miles and bonus points at hotels. We can practically stay for free.(Yeah!)
We will probably go with that option for our first visit so everyone will be well rested. Once we make our appt. I would love to hear any suggestions you have as to where to go and where to stay. take care and keep in touch.

09-15-2008, 12:11 PM
Flying is a great option, I am preety sure you will need a passport, not sure about your daughter. We never fly anywhere so no frequent flyer for us!! It is too $for us to do. I would jump on that if we could afford it. If I remember correctly there is a follow up visit needed (5weeks ?) after initial brace fitting then we go every 5 months after that.

09-15-2008, 12:51 PM
Theresa, making the first decision is the hardest part so you can exhale a little bit! Like Christine said, you can always switch to Boston later....my intention had been to give the brace 1-6 months to see if it gave any correction. Fortunately my daughter did get a correction that was as good or better than what would be expected from a Boston brace so we are staying put for now. If she hadn't seen any correction I probably would have wanted to try something else....but there's no downside to trying! (well, monetarily there is a big financial downside to trying it if it doesn't work, but it was a risk we were willing to take when we went into it)

Good luck! Christine gives good advice. We have stayed 2 places when we stayed...a Ruby Foos hotel which is fairly close to the hospital and was quite cheap (under $100, but the hotel is older and doesn't have bells and whistles) We stayed there when we had an in and out trip. Another time we stayed a couple nights and made a mini vacation out of it and we stayed in the Springhill Suites in the "old town" section. My kids loved it - they felt like they were at Hogwarts (older stone buildings in the neighborhood), they enjoyed making waffles at the breakfast bar, and the indoor pool, while small, was fun.

09-15-2008, 12:58 PM

Where is the Springhill Suites. We are going for a visit in October. I would like to make a vaca of it. We did not get a summer vaca this year. My husband had shoulder surgery, we even had to put off my daughters appointment. I am too chicken to make such a trip by myself. And I HATE TO DRIVE, so he does all the driving.

09-15-2008, 01:09 PM

I just looked up the Spring Suites in Montreal. It looks like fun. What kinds of things did you do there, I see there is a boat trip.

09-16-2008, 02:55 PM
Hey Christine, we also stayed at the Spring Suites, we all really liked it; we'd go back again. We ended up at the Botanical Gardens and rented Sedgeways; those were a blast! p

09-16-2008, 04:47 PM
Thanx Pat
we are going to go for it!!!!

09-16-2008, 10:09 PM
my son is 14 and has a 32 degree curve in his thoracic he was getting fitted with a Boston brace until I talked to several people that has strongly urged me against it. One person in particular was a co-worker whose daughter went from a 40 to a 61 in a year and a half. You end up with muscle atrophy that seems to make it worse. I'm not a doctor and can't recommend what is best for people but we're going to Atlanta on Sept.17 to fit my son with the Spinecor. We were informed that after 40 degree even the Spinecor won't help. Me as a parent I want to try every other available option before I have to use a Boston brace or surgery. May God bless you in your endeavour and we'll pray for you but I went with my gut instinct and alot of prayer

09-16-2008, 11:36 PM
I wish you both the best! We too felt Spinecor was the best option for bracing too. We too were concerned over muscle atrophy with the Boston Brace. We found out later that our daughter had other medical issue causing the curve, and were told by two doctors no brace would hold her rapid progressing curve, but we did what we felt best at the time. I hope all of you are successful with holding the curve. Best wishes tomorrow and later for you both!