23 July 2008

A Bracing Study on Scoliosis

Spine specialists across the country are conducting a breakthrough trial on scoliosis or curvature of the spine.

They are studying boys and girls ages ten and older to find out if back bracing treats scoliosis and/or prevents surgery.

Dr. Charles Mehlman is one of the lead investigators in this study, the largest pediatric orthopedic clinical trial ever funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Some spines don't straighten even after years of bracing, which delays surgery to insert instruments that will do the trick.

Researchers hope to do in this trial is find out more, and it could make a big difference in helping those with this condition get the right treatment and early intervention --earlier than ever before.

“We want to find out if we have been using bracing enough or not enough,” Mehlham said.

The trial randomly assigns patients to a brace or no-brace group.

That answer is expected to come through close follow up of these patients for the next couple of years.

If back bracing doesn't appear to be enough, surgery may be suggested at younger ages to correct the condition.

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