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Family Health: Scoliosis

A look at things patients can do to slow progression of the spinal condition.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - If you have scoliosis and use your brace, you could significantly decrease the progression of the disease.

Scoliosis is the most common type of spinal deformities - for orthopaedic surgeons.

University of Iowa researchers split 242 scoliosis patients into two groups.

They asked one group to wear a brace for at least 18 hours a day - while the other group was observed.

"Most of the kids who were braced and actually wore their brace, did not progress with their scoliosis, but more than half of the kids who were NOT braced did progress with their scoliosis," says Dr. David Gurd, an orthopaedic surgeon with the Cleveland Clinic.

More than 70 percent of the kids who wore their brace saw their scoliosis improve... compared to a little less than half the kids in the observation group.

Dr. Gurd says the findings show how effective bracing can be.

"A lot of times you know, in the past, I would prescribe a brace and they would say "Well is it going to work?" And I'd say "There's an over 50 percent chance. Now I can say over 70 percent chance and if you're really wearing it, maybe an over 90 percent chance."

The findings appear in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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