Bracing has been used as an early intervention treatment for scoliosis for decades, with many studies in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) indicating that bracing may decrease the risk of a curve progressing to needing surgery.
Until recently though, results have been inconsistent or provided insufficient evidence.
Now any doubts around scoliosis bracing have largely been put to rest by a study published late in 2013 in The New England Journal of Medicine (17 October 2013)
With the aim of determining whether wearing scoliosis braces would prevent the need for spinal surgery in children with AIS, the study was cut short by the ethics review board when early results showed overwhelmingly in favor of bracing.
The study demonstrated that when specialized scoliosis bracing is prescribed for high-risk patients, the need for surgery can be prevented in most cases. The researchers also found that the longer the brace was worn each day, the better the outcome was – a success rate of up to 93%! To date, there are no other treatment options that have shown to be as effective as bracing in preventing surgery in these cases..