View Full Version : Daughter 13 to get brace in 2 weeks

11-12-2004, 09:42 AM
Hi! My 13 y.o. daughter was recently diagnosed with scoliosis and will get a brace in 2 weeks. I would love to keep in touch with other moms and kids who have any positive ideas for how to cope with this. Just reading messages from this site has helped me and I hope she will be willing to join this site as well. My main concern now is clothing. I've heard stretch pants are best but I know that won't go over well. Has anyone had any luck in altering jeans by adding elastic? I'm looking for creative ways to make jeans more of a possibility. Thank you. I know she and I will need lots of support through all this and I am so grateful for this web site. :)

11-12-2004, 06:19 PM
most of my jeans fit perfectly over my brace. i only needed to buy 2 more jeans just a size bigger that what i normally wore. most jeans are stretchy so that should work!:)

11-12-2004, 08:15 PM
My daughter is almost 13 and is 5'6" tall. She wears regular jeans that have spandex. We just recently bought some levis 519( I think). They are not the low cut ones. They fit great over the brace. We also found some courdrouy pants with spandex and they were great. Just go shopping with the brace. Try on different things and you will find pants to fit. Another trick we learned this year was for her to put on a braless cami OVER the brace and under her shirts. This was fashionable for layering and also helped smooth and conceal the brace straps. The camisoles are stretchy and help hold the top shirt in place. The hoodie tops are great too. You can't tell my daughter is wearing her brace with most of her clothes. I have found that by staying positive and listening to her when she is frustruated with the clothing that we sail through any frustruations. I do admit we go shopping about every 2-3 months probably because she is growing that much! I wish you the best.

11-13-2004, 04:57 PM
I got my brace when I was 10 and never had any issues with clothes - I wore jeans all the time. I had the Boston & the Milwakee brace (not even sure if tehy use them anymore). I might have had to wear one size larger, but it was not that drastic - my mom never had to alter my clothes. I hope that helps. Let your daughter know that it is not that bad!

Mary Lou
11-14-2004, 06:36 AM
jhorste-yes, they still use both the Boston and the Milwaukee braces. My daughter has worn both, but they usually don't prescribe the Milwaukee brace too much any more. It was prescribed for my daughter mainly because she has Kyphosis as well as Scoliosis.

mommamia-try not to worry too much about clothing. Heck, isn't clothing always an issue with a teenage girl? lol Both of my daughters are very thin so we've always tried to buy jeans at Old Navy or Gap because they have adjustable waist band. When my daughter wore her brace, we bought pants that were made out of the same material as sweatpants, but they were a little nicer than sweats and since they had a draw string, we were able to make they a little tighter. Good luck with the brace. Please try to be patient with your daughter.

Mary Lou

11-16-2004, 06:34 PM
Hi there. It seems like 13 is a popular age for our daughters to be going through this with scoliosis. As far as clothing for my daughter, she wears her jeans under the brace because it rubs on her skin and really bothers her when she tries to wear the brace under the material. We have been buying her shirts a little longer and a little bigger than normal, but she still seems to be able to wear what she wants. I am not sure what type of brace she has because it fits right under her chest and under her shoulder blades in the back and then goes down over her hips and is longer on one side. She had it made in pink and it is kind of neat looking. Also for her, she likes to wear hoodies especially as the weather is turning cooler. You can't even tell she is wearing her brace.

Good luck in finding out what works best for your daughter.

11-16-2004, 08:24 PM
Hi mommamia,

Think about those little stretch lycra cotton shorts (for work out) to go under the pants and brace. Then pull a pair of stretch jeans over. This way the brace doesn't rub and the brace doesn't show.


Jill K
11-16-2004, 09:33 PM
Hi, I was exactly your daughter's age when I was braced. Currently I am 14 and I have just had the surgery on June 4. I found that stretch pants were good, but if your daughter is worried about her looks, like I was, try skirts. My mom bought be one and surprisingly you could not tell at all that I was wearing my brace. Jeans work to, try finding ones that don't necessarily have a elastic waist, but stretch. I found that Paris Blue jeans has a good line of stretch jeans that look good and hide the brace. For shirts I found that clingy ones stuck to my brace and would not cover it at all. I bought several zip-up jackets and light sweaters, lots of shirts work, but they just can't be too clingy.
I remember thinking if I would ever feel like I was not wearing it when I was, and that feeling came soon! I remember when I had to wear it to school in 8th grade, and I right before I walked in the building I had to feel my back! I seriously could not tell because I was so used to it. Hopefully your daughter will adjust the same. If you or your daughter have any brace or surgery questions just ask me, I've been through it all!:)

11-17-2004, 10:22 PM
same here. i dont feel my brace at all. especially now that its cooler. ive adjusted to the warmness of my brace and i feel really comfortable!

11-18-2004, 11:13 AM
Dear everyone who has replied. Thank you so much for all your tips and support. I am very thankful we are going into cooler weather. I will keep you posted.

I do have a question for Jill k. Would you mind telling me a bit about what your curve was when they did surgery? I know I'm jumping ahead a little bit. My daughters curves are 33 thoracic and 43 lumbar. She has not started her period yet and has a Reisser score of 0. I was surprised at how young you were to have surgery. Had you finished your growth spurt?
If any one has input on this please let me know. I have a feeling we are probably looking at surgery down the road (because of size of curve and how much growing she still has to do). Thanks again, Carolyn ::p

11-18-2004, 03:25 PM
I originally sent this as a private message but decided it might help someone else so here is my same reply to MOMMANIA
My name is Kim and my daughter has curves similar in size to your daughter. I thought we could talk privately and compare medical advice we are getting. My daughter is Catherine and she will be 13 in January. We discovered her scoliosis last August and she has been in a TLSO since then. At the time of diagnosis she was a Risser 0 with curves 31/35. This past August she was a Risser 2 maybe 3 and she had her xray taken out of the brace for 72 hours. Her curves were 28/34. She grew 3 1/2 " in height this past year. Sounds like the curve has been held. Subsequently since August it was determined that she has outgrown the brace and had a new one made. When we had the new brace confimed by xray a couple of weeks ago, it showed curves of 32/38 IN THE BRACE. Her orthotist was at the doctor appointment and couldn't believe that her curve could have progressed that much since August. He insisted on making a new brace (recasted her). We pick up the new brace tomorrow. She will have another xray on Dec 7. The thoughts of her doctor and orthotist is either the new brace was totally wrong and not pushing her spine at all or her lumbar curve took off since August. Our orthopedic is a spine specialist and has been treating scoliosis for many years. He is bringing up the "idea" that surgery may be likely if her lumbar curve has gotten into the 40's. I have been so antisurgery up till this point. Catherine has been very compliant wearing her brace the prescribed amount (16 hour minimum the more the better) She wears it from 16 to 18 hours out of 24. Dr Brown has discussed the type of surgery he thinks would be indicated for her and says that he would only have to fuse 3 or 4 vertebra.(before they ever know for sure they have to do bending xrays to see how flexible the spine is) He said that where she would be fused would be in the L2 to T11 or 12 region and that it would be considered a short fusion that would not affect her flexiblilty very much. I was at least encouraged by that. Catherine's favorite thing to do is ride horses. She rides English and jumps. She rides 2 times a week. She would really miss her riding. I have not asked Dr Brown if she would be able to ride again. I have ready some people say that it is possible mabe a year later. I'm sorry to ramlbe, but your daughter's curve degree and Risser sounded so similar to Catherine. Hope to hear from you.
Kim Blevins

Jill K
12-02-2004, 09:24 PM
Sorry I didnt write sooner, but I usually get an email saying someone responded and I didn't so I thought no one wrote back.

mommamia~My curve was 48 degrees when I had my surgery. I have never really had a growth spurt because I have been naturally tall my whole life. I am also still growing because according to my doctor most of my growth from now on is in my legs specifically my femurs, fibulas, and tibulas. If you have anymore questions feel free to ask.

12-15-2004, 06:43 PM
My name is Rebecca i am 14. My jeans fit really well! Also, don't be surprised to find your daughter become a "shoe person" once she can't wear "tight" shirts and other things girls wear now!
Let me know if I can help any,

12-26-2004, 10:22 PM
Hi there. Just read your message and had to reply to tell you about my experience. I (now 21) had to wear a Boston Brace when I was 14. Of course I thought my world was over....but my mom did everything possible to make it a smooth ride. The best thing...I covered the brace with stickers. It became a hobby finding perfect "brace stickers" such as "No Fear" and "No Crybabies allowed" and different team stickers. Also, this was sort of cheating, but my mom made a deal with me that if I wore it 22 out of 24 hours every day, then I wouldn't have to wear it to school on Fridays. This became a huge reward for me. Of course that's when I'd wear the tightest clothes possible! :) Please let me know if you have any brace questions, I'd love to help.

01-04-2005, 09:48 PM
I had scoliosis as a child 3rd to 6th grade in a milwaulkee brace - only to be followed by surgery with two lovely harrington rods in my back :) I am 38 and that surgery was 26 years ago!!!! My little girl age 10 ... 11 in april of 2005 just got her brace two weeks ago - thank GOD or someone at least it's an underarem boston brace.... I have tons of insight haveing been there personally and now with my girl... Let me know if you are interested... At the very least - I can only say positive attitude and go with the flow attitude is the only way.... and well I have told my daughter flat out... this is going to suck - it's not easy and it will be frustrating - but the option is to be cripled or worese - and this is something we have to do - that she has to do - it helps her that i truely understand having been there - I have encouraged her to write in a diary her feelings and she is totally loving it... Hope to chat with you and or have our daughters touch base. So important to know others are out there just like them... Suzanne

01-05-2005, 08:11 AM
Hi Mommamia,

My daughter got her first TLSO brace two days before Thanksgiving so we're just starting out too. The first day wearing the brace was very uncomfortable for her, but the orthopedist adjusted the fit a little and it made all the difference. She is wearing it 23/7 and does not seem to have any problems.

For pants, she wears the athletic "workout" type pants with an elastic waist. She can't wear all the new styles that are really low on the hips so we have to search the stores a bit to get the right pants. She really prefers skirts/skorts = alot of them have ruffled layers which really look cute and hide the bottom edge of the brace. Underwear are the high waisted type because bikini cut just don't work. She wears them over the brace and says she's quite comfortable.

For tops, she really likes the "Southpole" T shirts. They are made of a good thick fabric that doesn't show all the details of the brace. Thin t shirts just don't work. The new knit poncho shawls are everywhere now and do a good job of hiding any brace lines. Plus they look great.

For under the brace, we found "Underarmour" t shirts at Sports Authority. These are made of a stretchy perspiration wicking fabric that is very comfortable under the brace. They don't wrinkle or bunch up and they come in youth sizes as well as adult sizes. We bought one of the Boston T's , but it's pretty thick and hot. We're in South Florida so that normally doesn't work for us.

Good luck with your daughter.