Face Off To Brace or Not to Brace Idiopathic Scoliosis

POINT: Bracing Is the Proper Choice
Mark A. Erickson, MD

To brace or not to brace” has been a long-standing area of controversy and debate in the field of scoliosis treatment. I believe that orthopaedic surgeons should use the evidence in guiding decision making.

The 1984 landmark manuscript authored by Lonstein and Carlson provides the necessary information on the natural history of scoliosis, finding that 68 percent of curves measuring 20° to 29° progress in patients who are at Risser 0–1. This information creates a clinical indication to define options for managing this daunting expected course in these patients. With these data, the obvious question becomes: Can bracing effectively alter this natural history?

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