Brace compliance—wearing the brace for the prescribed number of daily hours—is key to successful non-operative scoliosis management. In the recent Bracing in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Trial (BrAIST), patients who wore the brace at least 12.9 hours daily had success rates between 90 and 93 percent. That is, they reached skeletal maturity without the curve progressing to 50 degrees or greater, the point at which surgery is recommended. In contrast, only 41 percent of patients who wore the brace between zero and six hours daily were successfully treated.
Boston Children’s Spinal Program employs a comprehensive approach to brace compliance. We use dose monitors, small thermal sensors that record the internal temperature of the brace. These monitors help patients see their actual time and patterns of brace wear, which improves compliance.
This technology dovetails with our patient-centered approach. Our team actively works with patients and families to empower patients and help them make decisions about when to wear the brace.
Finally, our nurses play a key role by helping patients manage minor skin conditions, such as rashes and compliance issues.