Saturday, February 8, 2014

Living With Scoliosis

So here we have it.  The scoliosis brace.

(Front side)

(Back side)

Cute colors, huh?  She was encouraged to pick out her own color design and went with "Pink Camo".

This is how she was fitted for the Providence Brace ::

Note::  This is an image from the is not my daughter.

On the left of that picture, a child with scoliosis lies on a peg board and measurements of the spine curves are taken.  This replaces the body casting process of old.  (Praise the Lord!)

The picture above right shows the child wearing the finished brace  and how it holds the spine in place.

Here is another more true- to- size image of my daughter's, again, not my daughter but an image on the internet.

There are a variety of braces out there and my daughter's particular brace is called the Providence Brace.

The Providence Brace is used for night time bracing only.  The outside is made up of a hard plastic material and the inside has the layers of corrective padding specifically placed for her spine.

Her bottom curve is on her left side.  You can see how the prothestits built the padding up to push her spine back to the center.

The patients have to wear a light weight shirt underneath to protect the skin from sores.

FACTS about scoliosis ::

* Scoliosis is NOT a disease.  It is an abnormal curvature of the spine.  In addition to curving sideways, the spine also twists, making the ribs (which are attached to the spine) look uneven.  This may cause a "bump" on the back.  Other signs include a shoulder or hip that looks higher than the other does or the chest may appear unequal.

* Our daughter has idiopathic scoliosis (which affect 2-3% of school age children).

* Only 0.5 percent require treatment.

* It  appears most often in girls between the ages of 10-15.

* Girls are 8 times more likely to develop it than boys.

* Girls usually have a huge growth spurt prior to starting their menstrual cycle.  After the start of the menstrual cycle, the spine will continue to grow quickly for the next 18-24 months.

* The spine grows quickest at night while asleep.  (So when you say, "Wow! (Child's name), you seem to have shot up over night," the child really has.)

* Bracing at night will ::

A.  hold the spine straight while the spine has its growth spurt.
B. aid the spine to grow straight instead of curved.

* This is not a one-size-fits-all in treatment (it all depends on how many curves, how severe they are, where they are located and the age of child - when they determine the type of brace.)

* ONLY surgery will permanently straighten the spine!  Braces, chiropractor care, yoga, Physical Therapy...none of it straightens the spine "permanently".  They only act as retainers.

*  So why brace?  To prevent the curve from getting worse during the period of growth.

* growth x-rays are used to determine how much growth is left.

*  These children are able to lead normal daily activities!

In our daughter's case ::

* She will need to wear the brace every single night for the next 2-3 years.

* Her top curve was caused by the spine trying to naturally over compensate from the bottom curve.

Why does Idiopathic Scoliosis happen?

It is NOT caused by carrying heavy books, backpacks or purses; nor is it caused by slouching, bad posture, sleeping wrong or lack of calcium.  NO ONE did anything wrong to cause scoliosis nor can it be prevented.

Thank you from the bottom of my humble heart for the prayers on this!  Gosh! This past Friday was emotional but went better than we thought it would.

It is the new normal.

~  Patty  ~


  1. I can't tell you how educated I just became by reading your post. Wow! I was fascinated and Lily read it as well. Thank you for sharing and the pics too. I understand it better now than I did before reading. Best wishes that the next 2-3 yrs go well and your new normal is bearable. Many hugs to your sweetie! OH, and prayers too.

  2. Yes, ((((hugs)))) for your sweetie. I remember in school, grade school, they used to do scoliosis checks, and they always needed an extra nurse for mine...not sure why?!! They were never sure.

    I think my parents got a letter saying I "could possibly have scoliosis"
    My parents never did anything...nice, huh?

    God made her special in this way and He knew from the beginning of time how it would play out in her life.

    Sending prayers.

  3. A very informative post, thanks! I have a slight scoliosis which wasn't spotted until I had stopped growing ( aged 17). I had no treatment and have suffered pain intermittently ever since (also lost some height now due to compression of discs). Mine was caused by a congenitally mis-sharpen vertebra. I find osteopathy and physio exercises very helpful. Taking care of your back is so important. All the best to your young patient, I will pray she can get some good sleep while she continues to grow!

  4. Well, at least it is a cute brace, right??!! It's so hard to see our kids struggle and have to go through things like this. It was so hard watching Sarah have surgery, be in a wheel chair, and then wear a brace - one she couldn't even walk in! Thankfully you had a sharp eye and caught the issue while she is young enough to make a change. That's the positive part!! God Bless you and you know you have my prayers.

  5. That was so interesting. You did a great job explaining it all. I hope it's an okay adjustment for your daughter to get used to it. Will keep her in my prayers.


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