A History of Bracing for Idiopathic Scoliosis in North America
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The care of the patient with scoliosis has a history extending back over two millennia with cast and brace treatment being a relatively recent endeavor, the modern era comprising just over half a century. Much of the previous literature provides a modest overview with emphasis on the history of the operative management. To better understand the current concepts of brace treatment of scoliosis, an appreciation of the history of bracing would be helpful. As such, we review the history of the treatment of scoliosis with an emphasis on modern brace treatment, primarily from a North American perspective. Our review utilizes consideration of historical texts as well as current treatises on the history of scoliosis and includes discussion of brace development with their proponents’ rationale for why they work along with an appraisal of their clinical outcomes. We provide an overview of the current standards of care and the braces typically employed toward that standard including: the Milwaukee brace, the Wilmington brace, the Boston brace, the Charleston brace, the Providence brace and the SpineCor brace. Finally, we discuss future trends including improvements in methods of determining the critical period of peak growth velocity in children with scoliosis, the exciting promise of gene markers for progressive scoliosis and “internal bracing” options.
KeywordsAdolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Idiopathic Scoliosis Spinal Deformity Skeletal Maturity Scoliosis Research Society
We thank G. Dean MacEwen for his commitment to education and his invaluable assistance in the preparation of the manuscript.
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