A new study from New England Journal of Medicine shows benefits of spinal bracing in high risk patients in preventing . The two year study followed 240 adolescents with spinal curves (20-40 degrees) who either underwent rigid spinal bracing for at least 18 hours daily or observation and showed significantly improved outcomes in those who underwent bracing. Longer daily use of bracing was associated with increased success rates.
Approximately 75% of patients who were braced and 45% of patients who chose observation did not progress past a 50 degree curvature. It is interesting to note that almost 50% of patients who did not use bracing had successful outcomes, but the ability to identify those who do not require bracing remains a challenge.