PARAMUS, N.J. -- HSS orthopedic surgeon Dr. Roger Widmann answers questions about scoliosis as part of a four segment series.
I understand the goal of bracing is to keep the curve from progressing. In your experience, what percentage of patients experienced a reduction of their curve through bracing?
The most recent longitudinal study indicates 75 percent of patients will demonstrate decreased progression of their curves, but bracing does not correct existing curves.
I’ve recently learned of an exercise program called the Schroth Method. What do you know about its effectiveness? Is there an age beyond which there is no benefit?
The Schroth Method is a physical therapy program for patients with scoliosis. There are no good longitudinal studies to confirm its effectiveness at this time. At this point, the most proven treatment for stalling the progression of scoliosis curves is compliant bracing, always in consultation with a spine surgeon.
Are there any studies on the emotional toll that the surgery or bracing causes?
We have seen an increase in discussions around home schooling or cyber schooling kids due to the physical pain of sitting post-surgery and the emotional toll. Many moms described post- traumatic stress and depression issues.
The psychological consequences of having scoliosis and wearing a brace are individual, but overall, there is little evidence to suggest that adolescents have any long-term psychosocial problems due to the condition or treatment.
Dr. Roger Widmann is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and the Chief of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery. He practices at both the HSS Outpatient Center in Paramus and the hospital’s main campus in New York.