If a curve on the x-ray exceeds a Cobb angle of 20 degrees and the child is still growing, brace treatment is applied. Braces for scoliosis correction have been used since ancient times and are an irreplaceable part of the conservative treatment of scoliosis. The goal is to halt curve progression and to attempt to achieve a full or partial curve correction.
Currently different types and forms of bracing are being used in the world. Braces are custom crafted for each individual and must correspond to the patient’s spinal curve pattern in order to implement correction during a child’s growth period. Bracing traditions in various countries differ . The first successes where achieved in the USA in the 1920’s by the Milwaukee brace using a high frame construction and a halo ring under the chin. The form of this brace is however very uncomfortable for the patient, and the results of such brace treatment , from a current standpoint, are not sufficient. Nevertheless, in the USA , Milwaukee-type braces continue to be prescribed. A later development, the Boston brace, a symmetrical hard plastic brace, is perhaps the most prescribed brace world-wide although it does not seem to exert sufficient influence on spinal torsion. Professionals tend to agree that bracing systems used in Europe are quite successful. The most experience has been gained with corrective brace construction according to the French professor Dr. Cheneau and its biomechanical modifications according to the Spanish professor Dr. Rigo – the RSC (Rigo-System-Cheneau) brace. Even though the RSC brace mirrors the patient’s curve pattern, it is nonetheles relatively comfortable to wear. This type of brace is now available in Latvia from a certified Technical Orthoped, Dr. Gundars Rusovs, CPO, who has learned brace construction from Prof. Dr. Cheneau as well as from Prof.Dr. Rigo.
The application of corrective bracing does not take the place of corrective exercises. During conservative therapy with a brace, the patient must continue to perform the Schroth Method exercises or lose no time in finding a certified Schroth Method therapist to start corrective physiotherapy.