The physicians and staff in the Variety Orthopedic Center, ranked No. 6 in the nation by Parents magazine, provide state-of-the-art treatment for everyday and difficult or rare pediatric orthopedic problems. In an environment of hope and comfort, the goal is to provide compassionate, comprehensive and cutting edge care to patients and their families.
When Mary came to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin for scoliosis care, our specialists found that her spine actually was curved in two places. A normal spine is straight, but when a person has scoliosis, his or her spine is curved.
Mary first wore a back brace, called a Charleston Bending Brace, for 8 to 10 hours every night. The brace works by slowly bending the spine in the opposite direction to correct the curve.
After wearing the brace for four months, doctors took images (X-rays) of Mary's spine and found one curve increased while the other stayed the same. Treating a growing child for scoliosis means ongoing adjustments to a back brace or a change in the type of brace altogether. Mary and her parents will travel to Children's from their home in Hampshire, Ill., every 6 months to have images taken of her spine until her skeleton has reached full adult height. Children's is one of two pediatric hospitals in the nation with an EOS low-dose radiation scanner, which means that there is a big decrease in the amount of radiation dose patients receive, actually up to 10 times less than a regular X-ray and up to 99 percent less than a CT (computed tomography) scan of the spine.
Mary recently started wearing a new brace, called a Boston Brace, for 20 hours a day. In just a short time, both of her curves have decreased. The purpose of the brace is to keep the curves from getting larger while Mary grows to her adult height.
Kathleen, Mary's mom, said her daughter handled the diagnosis better than she did. Mary knows scoliosis is treatable. She wears the brace under her clothes where people can't see it. She feels very comfortable when she wears it. "My friends have been really supportive," Mary said. "They accept it, they understand it and they've really helped me. I don't have to hide it, it's never any problem."
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