Spinal Bracing

Spinal braces are often made of plastic and are worn around the torso—the upper part the body. With our advanced technology, custom made spinal braces can be made from an external digital scan. This safe, non-invasive tool ensures a custom fit and enables your clinician and physician to design each brace for the individual child and her specific curve.

You child’s doctor will determine what type of spinal brace works best for your child, depending on your child’s age or condition. Your child may have to be fitted for a new brace or switch to a different brace as he or she grows. At Children’s, we offer the following types of spinal braces, including:

  • Boston: The Boston brace is the most common brace used for idiopathic scoliosis. It uses the hips as a base point and goes up to about the shoulder blades. This brace has interior foam pads that press on the child’s ribs to straighten the spine.
  • Modified Boston: The Modified Boston Brace was developed at Children’s. Based on the Boston and Milwaukee systems, the brace starts at the hips and reaches just below the chest and shoulder blades. We use a cast or 3D scan to create a customized brace for each patient. More than 1,200 patients have been treated with this brace at Children’s.
  • Providence: The Providence Brace pushes the child’s body to straighten the spine. It is only worn while sleeping, so does not limit daytime activities.
  • Charleston: The Charleston Brace over-corrects a curve by bending to the other side, and is usually used for single curves. It is only worn while sleeping.
  • Extension TLSO: An Extension TLSO (thoracolumbosacral orthosis) is used mostly for kyphoscoliosis, a musculoskeletal disorder. It can also be used for Scheuermann's disease. It is designed to reduce kyphosis, or forward bending of the upper trunk as seen from the side.

For post-operative patients or patients with neuromuscular disorders, a Custom TLSO is designed. These are typically foam with a plastic frame and more flexible than other braces.

The most important factor for brace success is how many hours per day a brace is worn. Your orthotist will work closely with you, your child and his orthopaedist to design a brace that is optimized for his curve and life.