FAQs about Spinal Orthotics

We understand that you’ll have lots of questions as you begin or continue the process of  correcting or healing a spinal injury or medical condition. These questions and answers are common but certainly not all-inclusive. 

If you have specific questions, feel free to contact us.

PLEASE NOTE:  these FAQs are meant to be used for educational purposes.  They are not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease.



What is a spinal orthotic?

A spinal orthotic device (orthosis) is an external apparatus that is applied to the body to limit the motion of, correct deformity in, reduce axial loading on, or improve the function of a particular spinal segment of the body.  This includes the area from the lower spine to the cervical (neck) area.  They are used to stabilize the spine after surgery and healing fractured vertebrae.

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine into a “C” or “S” shape.  One hip may be higher than the other or one shoulder raised, or the child may lean to one side.  There is congenital scoliosis which is caused by vertebral anomalies,  idiopathic scoliosis which may not have an identifiable cause or neuromuscular, which has developed as a symptom of another condition such as cerebral palsy, physical trauma, spina bifida.

Why does a child with scoliosis need a brace?

A brace is an effective nonsurgical way to prevent the curve from getting larger. Braces are usually prescribed for children who are still growing and the curves have exceeded 25 degrees.

Does a scoliosis brace hurt?

The custom fitted scoliosis brace should not hurt but it is important to know that, in order for it to be effective, it applies pressure to the side of the chest to correct the curve.  It may be uncomfortable at first but if it continues to hurt, your orthotist can see if it needs to be adjusted.

How long will I have to wear the brace?

Your doctor will monitor how fast the child is growing and the bones maturing so that the correction can take place during the growth period, usually adolescent years.

How many hours do you need to wear the brace?

For scoliosis, the amount of time your child will wear the brace each day depends on his orthopedic doctor’s prescription.  It may be 20-23 hours or less or it might be a night time brace, depending on the extent of the curvature and age of the patient. For other purposes such as injury or post surgery, your doctor will provide the answer  depending on the condition.

What kinds of activities can my child participate in while wearing the brace?

Your child can participate in almost every activity in which he/she currently.  Depending on the brace, it can be worn to school but with the doctor’s agreement, may be removed for specific activities or sports.


What is a TSLO?

TSLO stands for thoracic-lumbar-sacral orthosis.  They are used to treat scoliosis, custom molded and padded to keep the scoliosis curve from getting worse.  This brace is also called a “Boston Brace”.

What is a CTLSO?

CTLSO stands for cervical-thoracic-lumbar-sacral orthosis.  It can be custom molded and fitted to support a weak or damaged area of the spine as well as treat scoliosis. This is also called a “Milwaukee Brace.”

What is an LSO?

LSO stands for Lumbar-Sacral orthosis, restricting movement and reducing stress on the spine.

What is a Charleston Brace?

A Charleston brace is a nighttime brace, worn while sleeping.  This type of brace is also called a “nighttime” brace because it is only worn while sleeping.

Learn more about Spinal Orthotics custom fit  at Sunshine Prosthetics & Orthotics:

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