What to Expect
Bracing for Scoliosis
We’ve all heard of scoliosis, but what exactly is it? Simply put, scoliosis is a condition that causes an individual's spine to become curved and rotated - like the letters “S” or “C”. In some cases, scoliosis can be a harmless condition, but often it is important to straighten the spine to avoid long term issues from arising. Thankfully, here at Eschen, we are really good at that!
Scoliosis brace design and technology have come a long way since their bulky, rigid predecessors were the industry norm. Modern day scoliosis braces are thin, flexible, and low-profile enough to fit under most clothing. For fun outfit ideas and to read more about scoliosis fashion, head over to our scoliosis patient center.
Recent breakthroughs in scoliosis bracing, most notably going from treating scoliosis one dimensionally to treating it in three dimensions, have made bracing the preferred conservative treatment option for most providers. As a result of this new way of thinking about and treating scoliosis, scoliosis bracing has become more effective, comfortable, and fashion-friendly than ever before.
Scoliosis is a 3-Dimensional Condition
Currently, the diagnosis of scoliosis relies solely on an x-ray, but clinically there is much more involved. In addition to a sideways curvature of the spine (frontal dimension; image 1 below) there is also vertebral rotation, or twisting, of the spine (transverse dimension; image 2 below), as well as a flattening of the trunk, referred to as “flat back” (sagittal dimension; image 3 below). These asymmetries are not always visible on an x-ray, but can often be seen during a clinical exam. When standing behind a patient with scoliosis, the shoulders, hips, and waist appear uneven. Viewed from the side, a patient’s profile may also appear to have a reduced kyphotic curvature. Upon a forward bend, the ribs may have a prominence and one shoulder blade may be more prominent than the other.
Why 3-Dimensional Correction is Important
Because it works! The three dimensional nature of scoliosis has been known for a long time, but only in the past 15 years have these concepts been used in the United States to design and create scoliosis braces. Recent studies have shown that braces incorporating 3-dimensional correction are better able to reduce curvature and rotation, improve alignment, and achieve superior patient compliance and outcomes.
What Will my Scoliosis Brace Look Like?
At Eschen, our clinicians have dedicated their careers to treating scoliosis. Unlike most scoliosis bracing providers, who tend to only provide one type of scoliosis brace, Eschen specializes in several 3-dimensional brace designs. For each patient, the best option will depend upon their skeletal maturity, curve magnitude, amount of rotation, and wearing schedule. With over 500 years of combined experience there’s nothing we haven’t seen and nothing we can’t do.
Eschen’s Scoliosis Experts specialize in the following best-in-class scoliosis brace designs:
3D Eschen Brace
Providence Nighttime Brace
Our patients are the center of our universe, and our mission is to build strong and lasting relationships to help them set and achieve their goals. For our scoliosis patients, our goal is to reduce spinal curvature by designing and creating a brace they actually want to wear.
What is the Process for Receiving a Scoliosis Brace?
Your scoliosis brace will be a reflection of YOU. It will be designed, customized, and fit to you - optimized to correct your curve without the need for surgical intervention. You can even choose the colors and design of your brace!
Braces are custom designed using state-of-the-art CAD/CAM technology to digitally scan each patient’s unique body shape. The brace is fabricated based on the patient's curve, shape, and flexibility.
In general, the process for receiving a scoliosis brace always includes the following steps:
During your evaluation we’ll really get to know you. You’ll tell us all about yourself, including your medical history and condition as well as your hobbies, goals and dreams. We’ll conduct a thorough physical evaluation and take you through all aspects of scoliosis brace selection, design, and fabrication. We will also develop a program of care, which is a clinician-supported roadmap that guides patients to their best possible outcome. Establishing a program of care ensures patients and their families have an understanding and clear outline of what to expect during their scoliosis journey. After your evaluation we’ll have a clear game plan and timeline for your bracing journey.
Scanning, Casting + Measuring
This is the first step in the brace creation process. This is when we capture a model of your body that we’ll use to create your scoliosis brace. Your skeletal maturity, curve magnitude, and amount of rotation will determine the brace you receive and the method by which we capture a model of your body. The three main methods are: Scanning, using a state-of-the-art 3D scanner, casting, using innovative casting supplies and techniques, and or measuring, using measuring tape and a measuring board to acquire precise measurements that we’ll use to fabricate your brace.
Fabrication + Brace Design
With your digital model, x-rays, photographs and measurements, we can start creating your scoliosis brace! Using state-of-the-art CAD/CAM software, your model is modified to apply pressure to your curve while creating reliefs over unaffected areas. Our modifications will enable 3 dimensional correction to occur. Once your model is modified, we create a positive mold that is used to make your brace. We heat and vacuum-pull plastic over the mold to create a brace that gets cut, trimmed, and strapped to build your scoliosis brace!
Fitting + Delivery
Approximately three weeks after your scanning appointment you’ll come in for your brace fitting and delivery. During this appointment, we will assess your brace to ensure pressure and relief areas are properly positioned. We will check your alignment and trim excess plastic to ensure you are able to comfortably sit, stand, and walk. Any final adjustments can be completed on site so you can leave with your brace the same day. To help empower and educate you, we will give you a New Patient Guide, which provides a timeline for follow-up appointments, a daily wearing diary, FAQs, and links to scoliosis resources. This is a very exciting day for our patients and orthotists and marks another chapter in our exciting journey together!
Follow Ups + X-Rays
Unlike other providers, Eschen doesn’t just make you a brace and send you on your way. We will check in at regular intervals to ensure the brace is comfortable and being worn. Your first in-person follow up appointment will be approximately six to eight weeks after you receive your brace. Subsequent follow ups will be at three and six months. Out-of-brace x-rays will typically take place every six months.
Why Choose Eschen?
Eschen is proud to be a leading provider of scoliosis bracing in the United States. As a thought leader and innovator in the field, we are able to offer an unparalleled patient experience and superior outcomes compared to other leading providers.
Treating scoliosis involves the coordinated care of a team of medical experts, and Eschen is proud to partner with scoliosis specialists in the fields of orthopedics, physical therapy, 3D printing, and biomechanical engineering.
At Eschen, our clinicians have dedicated their careers to treating scoliosis. Unlike most scoliosis bracing providers who tend to only provide one type of scoliosis brace, Eschen specializes in several 3-dimensional brace designs and brace designs with a history of proven clinical outcomes. For each patient, the best option will depend upon their skeletal maturity, curve magnitude, amount of rotation, and prescribed wearing schedule. With over 500 years of combined experience there’s nothing we haven’t seen and nothing we can’t do. Eschen’s Scoliosis Experts specialize in the following best-in-class scoliosis brace designs:
Our patients are the center of our universe, and our mission is to build strong and lasting relationships to help them set and achieve their goals. For our scoliosis patients, our goal is to provide an effective non-surgical treatment option by designing a functional brace they actually want to wear.
Our mission is to maximize the quality of life of our patients and provide an unparalleled patient-centered experience by mobilizing world-class clinicians, healthcare administrators, and institutional partnership in delivering top-of-the-line prosthetic and orthotic services. Our clinicians and administrators have over 500 years of combined experience. Unlike most orthotic and prosthetic providers who are comprised of generalists, Eschen is proud to have built a world-class team of specialists in the areas of: Prosthetics, Orthotics, Sports Bracing, Pediatrics and Scoliosis.