November 14, 2018
A pediatric brace will need to be replaced because of the normal periods of growth in childhood. Whether your child was advised by a physician to wear a back brace due to a motor vehicle accident, pediatric scoliosis, or surgical outcome, your child may refuse to wear it if it’s an uncomfortable, improper fit. At Horton’s Orthotics and Prosthetics, we are experienced in assisting adults and youths to receive the proper pediatric back bracing.
If your child has outgrown his/her pediatric brace, it may actually do more harm than good. Therefore, you need to ensure that your child’s brace is periodically checked so that you can obtain a new brace quickly if needed.
Idiopathic Scoliosis Risk – Statistics and Trends
According to the Scoliosis Research Society, parents are often surprised to learn that their teenager has been diagnosed with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) as their child’s spine was previously considered normal. This type of pediatric scoliosis is found in one out of every 100 people between 10-18 years old. An article in the Journal of Children’s Orthopaedics reports an overall prevalence of 0.47-5.2 percent of all adolescents (and Rotoscoliosis can also continue to progress in adulthood).
Around 29,000 scoliosis surgeries are performed on adolescents each year in the US. While the actual cause of AIS is unknown, a genetic predisposition is likely to play a role (since 30 percent of afflicted youth have an AIS family history). The spinal curvature from AIS ranges from mild to severe, and a pronounced curvature is more common in females.
One of the pediatric specialties at Horton’s Orthotics and Prosthetics in Arkansas is bracing for AIS, as our trained clinical staff understands its management. Your child’s doctor is most likely to recommend bracing if the spinal curvature is between 25-45 degrees and your child is still growing (according to the AAOS). Surgery is often recommended if the curvature is more than 45 degrees, and bracing may be needed following the inpatient stay.
Why Bracing is Recommended in Treating Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS)
Study findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that only 45 percent of the non-braced participants (control group) did not experience further spinal curvature progression as compared to 75 percent of the braced group. Additionally, utilizing the brace for more than 18 hours each day was associated with the highest success rate. Since pediatric scoliosis can lead to premature osteoarthritis, ensuring that your child wears the prescribed brace can prevent premature arthritic pain in adulthood.
Consulting Horton’s Orthotics and Prosthetics at one of our six Arkansas locations can enable you to learn more about bracing options. Advances in pediatric bracing design over the past 20 years means that more choices are available for your child with scoliosis or other spinal disorder.
Congenital and Other Non-Idiopathic Types of Pediatric Scoliosis
Congenital pediatric scoliosis is generally classified as resulting from a failure of correct spinal formation in utero. This article reports that organ abnormalities are also often found in tandem with congenital pediatric scoliosis. Non-idiopathic pediatric scoliosis is also typically found in children living with the following:
- Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)
- Marfan syndrome
- Spina bifida
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
- Injury-caused paraplegia
Checklist Questions – Considering Whether Your Child Needs a New Brace
The following are four key considerations in determining whether you should replace your child’s brace:
1. Has your child experienced a growth spurt (height and/or weight) since the existing brace was fitted?
2. Has the brace become damaged in any way (e.g., cracked or moldy)?
3. Is the discomfort level of the brace so high that your child refuses to use it properly?
4. Has the sideways curvature of your child’s spine changed?
Choosing the Right Spinal Brace
Your child will be more likely to wear the brace if it fits properly. Therefore, let us help you at Horton’s Orthotics and Prosthetics to acquire a well-fitting back brace.