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Question About What Brace is Like

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  • Question About What Brace is Like

    Hi everyone, I have been a semi-lurker here for many years but this is my first post.

    My daughter was just diagnosed with an S curve -- double curve (30 on top and 18 on bottom and some kyphosis). She has a Risser of 0 at age 14 and is premenstrual. My sister had the surgery about 30 years ago for a 60+ curve and my niece wore the Boston brace for several years also, so we have this in our family and I was somewhat prepared for this -- although you are never fully prepared.

    My question is this -- I was watching a video of Shailene Woodley from Secret Life of an American Teenager and she shows her brace (she has an S curve). It appears to be made of a translucent hard plastic. Is that what is commonly used these days? The braces I recall from 30 years and say, 15 years ago, were much bulkier and padded. Thanks in advance for you input.

  • #2
    Hi Catinhat,
    My dd has had her brace for a little over a month now. Her curves were very close to your daughter's when she was first diaganosed(30*, 19*). We didn't brace then and she progressed 10* in 5 months, so she was 42*, 32* when fitted.

    I thought the brace would be bulky, but it is not. It is about 1/4" thick and is hard plastic on the outside and padded on the inside. My daughter's velcros in the back, and the only place I can see her hardware through clothes is at her shoulder blades. At first, her brace didn't close all the way(about a 3" gap), but in 1 month it has closed almost all the way. Also, she has an S-curve, too and the pads are positioned to push against the curves, so her brace was odd-fitting at first because the side that didn't have a lumbar pad stuck out from her hip and looked peculiar. Since then, the brace fits snug on both sides, almost like a corset. Sometimes I can't even tell she has it on!

    As far as colors, we could choose from a selection of designs and colors or choose plain white. DD chose light pink so it wouldn't show through clothes.

    DD/12 yo.
    diagnosed 1/9/09 at age 11-- 30*, 19 * S-curve- recommend wait/watch
    3/16/09- 32*, 23*
    5/14/09- 42*, 32* fitted for Boston Brace
    7/2/09- in brace x-ray- 16*,20*
    11/6/09- out of brace 24 hrs x-ray- 26* top curve, 18* bottom curve
    03/11/10- out of brace 24 hrs x-ray- 24* top curve, 16* bottom curve


    • #3
      Hi Michele, thanks so much for your kind response. I have been researching like crazy since we will be getting a brace in the coming weeks. My daughter is starting a new high school and I would like this to be as easy on her as possible. I am considering a thin (1/8" thick) polypropylene brace that is custom fitted after computer scanning (as opposed to plaster casting). We would have to travel for this. Only about $300 of it would be covered by insurance. I would imagine it costs about $3000 when all is said and done. I wonder if anyone has had any experience with this. It seems like fairly new technology as I have found only two places in the country so far that do it. As an alternative we could be 100% covered for a tlso brace if we stay in New York to get the brace at a participating provider. I would love some advice on this from all of you have had so much more experience than me. Thanks!


      • #4
        bracing for teen


        My daughter is also 14, Riser 0 and premenstrual. Her curves are higher than your daughter's, as she was diagnosed at 7. We did not brace until she was 12, which in retrospect I believe was a big mistake on our part. She has been wearing a Rigo-Cheneau brace for the last 1 1/2 years, which has halted a very progressive curve and vastly improved her alignment. The brace is lightweight, and straps in the front. I only know of a few orthotists who make it in the US.

        At first she felt like a walking monster in it, but having met with another braced girl prior to bracing, who reassured her "it gets better," helped her immensely. We do have to buy certain clothing on the top (no really tight tops), but jeans, shorts, anything on the bottom is the same as anyone else. She is as used to the brace physically, and doesn't mind having to actually wear it, but the clothing issue is still very bothersome to her. Although, I often times cannot tell she is wearing it, and neither can anyone else.

        If you have any further questions, feel free to send me a private message.