We often receive calls from families asking if we can help their son or daughter avoid surgery even though their curve is already within surgical ranges. Sophia’s case is an example of what’s possible when a Rigo Cheneau brace is provided for a very motivated patient.
Sophia was diagnosed with scoliosis one year ago. She was just shy of 13 years old. Unfortunately, her initial x-ray showed she has a 58 degree thoracic curve, and 42 degree lumbar curve. Her doctor had recommended surgery due to the large curvature, but Sophia and her family wanted to trying bracing first to avoid surgery.

When we first met Sophia and her family, we let them know we’ll try our best as usual. Her initial x-ray showed she was risser 2, indicating growth-guided correction was possible. However, even though we have seen multiple cases of curve regression due to brace wear, many result in preventing curve progression. With her curve, preventing progression may delay surgery but ultimately won’t help them avoid it. Sophia and her family expressed they were willing to do whatever it takes to avoid surgery.

Sophia’s in-brace x-ray was encouraging, as her thoracic curve had reduced to 31 degrees when wearing her brace. Since receiving the brace, she wore her brace 23 hours per day, only removing it for showering, and walks and other activities with her family. Sophia was determined to do everything she could to avoid surgery, despite the long odds.

Sophia’s dedication and determination was rewarded at her next appointment with her orthopedic surgeon. Her next out-of-brace x-ray, taken six months later, showed the thoracic curve had reduced to 41 degrees, and lumbar curve to 28 degrees. Another x-ray, taking 1 year after starting brace wear, showed the curves had remained the same, and Sophia was now risser 4.

Sophia is still wearing her brace 23 hours per day as she has growth remaining. Due to her determination, initial signs are encouraging that Sophia may be able to avoid surgery for her scoliosis after all. This is one more example of what’s possible with a dedicated patient and Rigo Cheneau bracing.