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Thread: do i need a brace?

  1. #1
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    Unhappy do i need a brace?

    I am 15 years old and was just diagnosed with slight scoliosis and i cn=an notice that my shoulders are uneven and i can see the curve in my back but that is about it. i havent gotten my xrays done yet and i dont know the degree of my curve. Do you think i will need to wear a brace? i really dont want to... is there any alternative way to fix my scoliosis because i am VERY self concious. If i do need a brace will it be all day? like even in school and when i want to go out??? Please Reply... ANYONE!!

    thanksss -- Olivia
    Just diagnosed with slight scoliosis ... barely noticable to others but VERY noticable to me

  2. #2
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    Hi Olivia:

    Step 1: Take a deep breath. Getting that first diagnosis is scary, but lots of people have scoli, and they got along just fine with it.

    Whether you need a brace depends on how big your curves are. Your doctor will be able to tell this by looking at your x-rays. If your curves are small, you'll just be monitored to see if they continue to progress. If they're big enough, your doctor may suggest a brace.

    If you do get brace, you might have to wear it all day, or you might onyly have to wear it for part of the day. Again that depends on how big your curves are.

    My daughter was diagnosed one year ago with two curves -- her spine is basically shaped like an 'S'. Both of her curves were very large (more than 35 degrees -- a straight spine in 0 degrees). She was put immediately into a brace, which she must wear 23 hours a day, every day. The brace is essentially a hard plastic tube that wraps around her body and goes from just under her arms, down to her hips. When we found out she had to wear this thing we were completely freaked, of course. However, it has turned out to really not be that bad. She can still do everything she wants to do with the brace on, it's not uncomfortable, and she knows that it's helping to slow the progression of her curves. She will be getting the scoliosis surgery next year, so will only be in the brace for a total of about 18 months, but that will have given her a chance to grow a couple of inches and just generally get bigger and stronger before the operation.

    The biggest problem Caitlin has with the brace is that it shows somewhat under her clothes, and makes her self-conscious. If you want to get all the tips on how to dress to camoflauge your brace, wander over to www.spinekids.com where you will find many teenage girls who are dealing with these questions.

    TTYL,

    Patricia
    New Zealand

  3. #3
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    do you need a brace and does it work?

    some highlights on scoliosis:

    Over 5% of the general population suffers from Scoliosis

    44% of patients who were braced were considered a failed case.

    60% of those braced felt that their life was handicapped and 14% consider that bracing left a psychological scar.

    Most patients curve significantly increases as soon as they discontinue wearing the brace.

    More than 2/3rds of curves continue to progress even after skeletal maturity.

    40% of the patients in a long term study of post surgical intervention(Harrington Rods) were legally defined as severely handicapped.

    100% of patients in study on scoliosis were found to have a forward head posture and a reduced neck curve. This is the beginning of the crankshaft phenomenon. Research is showing that restoring the proper anterior/posterior positioning and the lateral power curves of the spine through, SPECIFIC traction, exercise, vibrational therapy, and chiropractic(VERY specific chiropractic, you must look at the spine in 3 demensions to acurately treat the patient.

    Read this download: http://www.clear-institute.com/pdf/S...-Dr_Woggon.pdf

  4. #4
    Mary Lou Guest
    gruvin,

    Where do I start with your post. First, I tried to go to the site you suggested, but nothing showed up. May I ask where you got all of your information? I don't agree with most of what you say. People read something like your post and think that a chiropractor can cure their Scoliosis and then don't go to an orthopedic doctor and their curves progress to the point of needing surgery. I think that most people's curves don't continue to progress once they've reached skeletal maturity. Some curves, like those higher than say, 40-50 degrees may continue to progress, but most curves don't. I've heard of very few people who would consider themselves "severely handicapped" because of their Scoliosis/Harrington rods. As for the 44% of people who were braced and considered a failure case, that would depend on a lot of factors. What was their degree of Scoliosis at diagnosis? How close to skeletal maturity were they when first braced? May daughter wore both a Milwaukee brace and a Boston brace and ended up having surgery five months ago. Does that make her a "failure case?"

    Mary Lou

  5. #5
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    Mary Lou...

    Obviously, gruvin has something to sell.

    For the record, crankshaft phenomenon is a condition caused by performing surgery on only the back or front of the spine of a growing child. Gruvin needs to do a little more research.

    Regards,
    Linda

  6. #6
    Mary Lou Guest
    Linda,

    I agree with you totally! My fear was that someone new would come here and actually believe what he said. Those of us with experience, know better!

    Mary Lou

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Lou
    gruvin,

    Where do I start with your post. First, I tried to go to the site you suggested, but nothing showed up. May I ask where you got all of your information? I don't agree with most of what you say. People read something like your post and think that a chiropractor can cure their Scoliosis and then don't go to an orthopedic doctor and their curves progress to the point of needing surgery. I think that most people's curves don't continue to progress once they've reached skeletal maturity. Some curves, like those higher than say, 40-50 degrees may continue to progress, but most curves don't. I've heard of very few people who would consider themselves "severely handicapped" because of their Scoliosis/Harrington rods. As for the 44% of people who were braced and considered a failure case, that would depend on a lot of factors. What was their degree of Scoliosis at diagnosis? How close to skeletal maturity were they when first braced? May daughter wore both a Milwaukee brace and a Boston brace and ended up having surgery five months ago. Does that make her a "failure case?"

    Mary Lou
    Mary Lou, try downloading Adobe Acrobat, the link works fine...

    As for where I got my info...

    44% of patients who were braced were considered a failed case. – American Journal Of Orthopedics 2002

    60% of those braced felt that their life was handicapped and 14% consider that bracing left a psychological scar. - American Journal Of Orthopedics 2002

    Most patients curve significantly increases as soon as they discontinue wearing the brace.

    More than 2/3rds of curves continue to progress even after skeletal maturity. - Journal of Bone & Joint surgery AM

    40% of the patients in a long term study of post surgical intervention (Harrington Rods) were legally defined as severely handicapped.(average mean in the study was 16.7 years post surgery) - Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Muenster, Germany. Please read the statement again, I said legally defined as such not that the individual found themselves to be so...

    As for the chiropractic comment, I never said you can just waltz right in to a chiropractor and they will cure it all. JMPT 2001 clearly states that chiropractic care, heel lifts, and counseling are NOT effective in reducing the severity of scoliotic curves.

    Where is your degree from Mary Lou and how much research have you done that’s been published? This is not about what you or I think, its about documented facts based on medical evidence.

    Yep, that makes her bracing a failure. If the changes to the body continue to progress while the bracing is done, then it is ineffective. “The deterioration of the curves was 3.5 degrees in all surgically treated curves and 7.9 degrees in all brace treated curves. 5 of the braced patients progressed 20 degrees or more” Spine March 2001 Spine 2001 – Children’s Research Center, Dublin Ireland – “Bracing has not been recommended in this center since 1991. If bracing does not reduce the proportion of children with AIS who require surgery , it can not provide a meaningful advantage to the patient or the community”

    Paul Harrington, known for inventing the surgery that implants metal rods in scoliotic spines, stated in 1963, “metal does not cure the disease of scoliosis, which is a condition involving much more than the spinal column.”

    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine
    Mary Lou...

    Obviously, gruvin has something to sell.

    For the record, crankshaft phenomenon is a condition caused by performing surgery on only the back or front of the spine of a growing child. Gruvin needs to do a little more research.

    Regards,
    Linda
    Sorry linda, I should have been more specific. In PHYSICS, to compress and rotate an object(in this case the spine) is called the crank shaft phenomenon. Derived some time ago in ancient Egypt in regards to taking a 1/8” strand of gold and then twist it. The best necklaces were a perfect coiled position, but at a certain point, the necklaces would twist on themselves and deform and fold into themselves. Once they hit that “Euler Buckled” position, the necklace was garbage.

    I think you will find that I am well versed, annoying little habit I have of reading not only American journals but also foreign ones as well... I do this when I am not reviewing peer review journals or case law for work.

    BTW, what exactly do you think I am selling?

    Jeremy
    2000 - Single Lumbar scoliotic Curve 18 degrees
    2004 - Single Lumbar scoliotic Curve 4 degrees
    No Braces, No surgery, just documentating X-rays and Therapy

  8. #8
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    You haven't given us enough information to refute your claims. Can you give us specific references, or at least the month of publication?

    The most respected brace study ever published, which was a multi-center, international study is Effectiveness of Treatment with a Brace in Girls Who Have Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. A Prospective, Controlled Study Based on Data from the Brace Study of the Scoliosis Research Society. In that study, 74% of patients were successfully treated with a brace.

    If you want to look at other bracing studies, I have links to abstracts here:

    http://www.scoliosislinks.com/Outcomes.htm

    I'm guessing that 100% of the members of the Scoliosis Research Society would tell you that someone with an 18 degree curve needs NO treatment. You had just about a zero percent chance that your curve would ever increase:

    http://www.vh.org/pediatric/provider...ressionPM.html

    --Linda

  9. #9
    Mary Lou Guest
    gruvin,

    I won't even waste my time. I just want to make sure you aren't giving people inaccurate information.

    As for you calling my daughter's bracing a failure, if you only knew the facts of her Kyphoscoliosis, you'd agree with me that her bracing wasn't a failure, well, maybe you wouldn't agree but most trained professionals would agree.

    Linda,

    Thanks for all of your great information. We need more people like you keep us informed. By the way, have you been declared "severely handicapped?"

    Mary Lou

  10. #10
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    Mary Lou...

    :-) Not yet, but obviously it'll happen any day. ;-) There are so many flaws in Gruvin's posts that I don't even know where to begin.

    --Linda

  11. #11
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    Linda,

    Thanks for the link! I have read over 70% of the studys on there and have several that are not listed, I will submit them for review to the site.

    I'll be more than happy to provide full citation of everything I mentioned previously... would you actually take the time to go read them with an open mind(I haven't seen you do so thus far)?

    Ok, so the scoliosis research society would tell me that I need no treatment probably because they are only focusing on curve progression. The statistical model shows me to be a very low risk factor. Studys are only now looking into the long term effects of untreated scoliosis in relationship to what it does to the body that does not involve progression of the curves. What are my chances for increased lower back problems including but not limited to: limited range of motion, spinal nerve inpingement(motor function and sensory preception), pre-mature osteoarthritis(President of the Arthritis foundation in late 2004 released the statement that "osteoarthritis is a biomechanical disorder of the body." How many people you know live in constant chronic pain due to osteoarthritis? I will skip over the increased mortality rate of severe scoliotic patients as it does not apply to me. I am sure that most of the people doing the studys sat through the same anatomy & physiology classes that I did in college. The spine is designed to be 100% straight when you look at it Anterior to Posterior. There are theoretical model curves when viewing the spine from the side or laterally. Any deviation in these curves results in increased risk for hundreds of problems. Scoliosis is the ultimate deviation in the theoretical model and puts the patient at the most risk.

    Mary Lou, I understand your daughters condition, She was most likely significantly stooped forward with a relatively large bump on the right side of her upper back when bent slightly over as well as having one on the opposite side when bent way over. My intenet was not to insult you or your daughter or even your course of action. In general, people make the best choices based on the information presented at the time the decision must be made. If you would have been offered a chance at a non-surgical, non-braced technique for long term effective correction... would you have considered it?

    I find it curious that both of you are so dead set against any other model outlined other than the same ones used by the medical community for the last 40 years. Is there no possibility with all the research being done on this subject that someone came up with a different answer? If you are going to produce a long term effect study on any new treatment it takes time to prove the theory one way or the other. It will also take a long time to gain acceptance because it is not part of the currently accepted model.

    As for the comment that most trained professionals will agree, I will agree that they would as well. Especially the surgeons that are trained to do the harrington rods and the orthotic brace makers... In reality, these guys happen to have a finacial stake in these techniques. Kinda like a car company telling you that their brand is the best..Its hard for a new car company to break into the market because the others have an accepted presence and a history.

    Simple question here, do either of you or your children have a forward head posture?

    "Can a short spinal cord produce scoliosis?" Eur Spine Journal 2001 Feb; 10
    (1):2-9 (properly cited just like Linda likes it)
    "a short unforgiving spinal cord could produce the abnormal rotatory anatomy observed at the apex in scoliosis, with first lordosis, then lateral deviation, and finally a rotation of the vertebral column, with the rotation occuring between the canal and the vertebral column, around the axis of the cord."

    Linda, I apoligize for my flaws...

  12. #12
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    I find it curious that both of you are so dead set against any other model outlined other than the same ones used by the medical community for the last 40 years.
    Tell you what, Gruvin... when this therapy that you're promoting is published in a peer reviewed journal, I promise to give it serious thought, especially if it's 100% effective, which is what it appears you need before you'll consider it legitimate.

    Now, how about you giving the same respect to the hundreds of peer reviewed articles showing that bracing and surgery are effective treatments for scoliosis?

    --Linda

  13. #13
    Mary Lou Guest
    Where did I get my degree? If you've dealt with Kyphoscoliosis to the degree that I have, you wouldn't need a degree. We've been to five different "professionals" and at least three different hospitals. Yes, we tried "non-traditional" treatments and my daughter still needed surgery. My daughter was not stooped forward; she had a hump on her back when bent over, but it was not a "relatively large bump when slightly bent over." The only way you could see her hump was if she was touching her toes, which meant she was bent way over. She didn't have any type of hump on the other side of her back.

    You know, I don't understand you. You go on and on about what could happen in the future even though your curve is very minor, yet you get on my case for choosing surgery for my daughter. Surgery is ALWAYS a last resort. With her Kyphosis, especially, not even considering her Scoliosis, would have most likely led to problems with her lungs, heart, etc. Why are so against "traditional" treatment? Do you want surgery to correct your Scoliosis and no doctor will do surgery because your curve is so low?

    My advice to you is thank God that your curve is so low. Consider yourself lucky. If you ever come across some proven therapy, please let us know. I have more than one child and I pray to God that we never have to go through Scoliosis surgery ever again, so if you can give us accurate, proven information, do share it with us.

    Mary Lou

  14. #14
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    Jeremy,

    I've seen your other posts and you're really pushing this website. What have they done for you ? Do you have your own before and after x-rays to show the remarkable results ? I hope you don't take offense to this, but you sound like a chiropractor




    Celia

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celia Vogel
    Jeremy,

    I've seen your other posts and you're really pushing this website. What have they done for you ? Do you have your own before and after x-rays to show the remarkable results ? I hope you don't take offense to this, but you sound like a chiropractor

    Celia
    Celia, Why would I take offence to that? I am not a doctor of any kind but I do have a close relationship with the medical community(medical billing and office administration consulting) I find it kind of amusing that I cited a study that clearly showed that general chiropractic care does little if anything for curve reduction and yet I am asumed to be a chiropractor by trade. I garrantee you that I am only a reciever of the treatments, not a chiropractor.

    I will do my best to get my X-rays and actual photographs uploaded in the next week or so...

    Mary Lou, that is unusual to have a kyphoscoliosis that you can not see until bent way over touching toes... I have a friend of mine with severe kyphoscoliosis and you can quite clearly see his bump without him even bending over at all.

    The biggest problem in our communication that seems to be occuring here is the fact that you(and Linda) are applying blanket mentality to a specific statement. Kinda like saying all black cars are the same.

    Why am I against traditional treatment? Well, I am scared to death of any type of surgical procedure. I recently had a friend die due to complications from a knee replacement surgery, 2 friends currently undergoing treatment for post surgical infections, another friend of mine now permanently walks with a limp due to spinal surgeon error. Medical errors in the operating room are on the rise and are already at epidemic proportions. Surgical error combined with reactions to medication along hospital and nursing home infections = death due to medical error which passed heart disease as the number 1 killer in the US in 2004. I would say surgery is and should be a definate last resort. Again, I stress to you that are not understanding my point. If your daughters quality of life improved only 20% then by all means I will consider her surgery a success(I know you already do). Initially, I presented information pulled from studys(although I did not take the time to cite them) and it seems you took it personal.

    Tell you what, Gruvin... when this therapy that you're promoting is published in a peer reviewed journal, I promise to give it serious thought, especially if it's 100% effective, which is what it appears you need before you'll consider it legitimate.

    Now, how about you giving the same respect to the hundreds of peer reviewed articles showing that bracing and surgery are effective treatments for scoliosis?

    Linda, I can supply a link to the founder of the techniques cariculum vita, it has a nice listing of all his published work(peer review journals and others) he has done. I know he is in the process of doing a long term study on these new techniques so some or all of the processes may or may not be published.

    Here is a neat little bit of reading on a similar technique(the good stuff is at the bottom, the test results...)
    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...S=PN/6,082,365

    I don't believe that I have presented myself that way, 100% sucess rate highly improbable with any treatment. While this is not directly related to scoliosis, it brings some validity to my position. Nuerosurgical fusion of the spine for nerve inpingement only has a 46% success rate yet there is probably 100 of these surgeries a day happening. Spinal Decompression is a relatively new alternative that has an 86% success rate and it is allowing others to avoid surgery, always a good thing(I am sure you will agree).

    As for bracing, how many of the peer review articles published show the results between push bracing and pull bracing? Most of your bracing is push bracing yet pull bracing has been cited as more effective...

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