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BOSTON BRACE FOR SCOLIOSIS
 
 
Applying your brace

There are several ways to put on your brace.  At first you will need help but eventually you will learn to do it yourself. The easiest method is described below.

  1. Make sure all straps are on the outside of the brace.
  2. Place the brace around your body by holding each side of the opening and spreading the brace so you can twist into it.  The brace is stiff when new, so you may need help.
  3. The opening of the brace should be centered on your back so that your spine is in the middle of the opening.  Make sure the brace is straight.
  4. Lean forward with your hands on a table or on a counter.  Ask your helper to thread the straps through the buckles.
  5. With your hands on each side of the brace, push the brace down until the pads are against your waist.  The pads should rest just above your hips and below your ribs.
  6. Make sure your t-shirt has no wrinkles or you may develop sores.
  7. Your helper now tightens the Velcro straps.  Start with the middle strap,then the bottom and finally the top straps.

How to apply and tighten the brace yourself

  • Place the brace on your body as described above.
  • Thread the straps through the buckles.
  • Lean forward and firmly pull the straps out,down and away from the buckle side. Remember to be patient, this takes practice.

Helpful hints

  • Make sure your spine and buttock crease are centered in the brace opening.
  • The waist pads must be above your hips and below your lowest rib.

Exercise

If your orthopedic surgeon prescribed physical therapy, your physiotherapist will design an exercise program for your needs.

Cleaning the brace

It is important to clean the foam liner of your brace daily.  The foam does not absorb moisture, and perspiration will collect on it.  Clean the foam with rubbing alcohol.  The rubbing alcohol will disinfect the liner and quickly evaporate.

Skin care

It is very important to PREVENT SKIN BREAKDOWN (sore, red, raw skin).  The skin under the brace needs to be protected, especially areas where the brace applies the most pressure.

To protect your skin:

  • Bathe daily;
  • Pay special attention to pink areas on the skin where brace pressure is highest;
  • Always wear a snug fitting t-shirt (without seams) under your corset;
  • Always wear underpants over the brace (to prevent skin breakdown around the elastic band);
  • Wear the brace as tight as possible.  A loose brace may rub and cause skin breakdown.
  • The use of cornstarch is often helpful in hot weather.  Do not use creams, lotions or powders under the brace; they often soften the skin.  If there is skin breakdown (sore, red, raw skin) the brace must not be worn for a day or two until the skin heals.  If the problem persists, call your orthotist.

Sometimes the skin over the waist and hips gets darker.  This is common and is not a problem.  When the brace treatment is finished, the skin will return to its normal color.

Getting used to your brace

Over a period of 2-3 weeks, gradually increase the time you spend in your brace each day.  The following program has been designed to help your skin and muscles adjust.

Step 1: Wear your brace six hours daily.  This is best done after school until bedtime.

  • Wear your brace for two hours;
  • After two hours, remove brace and check skin.  If your skin is pink, reapply for two more hours and repeat every two hours for a total of six hours;
  • If your skin is sore and red, wait 30 minutes and then wear for two more hours. Check skin every two hours for a total of six hours;
  • This step takes five to seven days.

Step 2: Wear your brace ten hours daily

  • Wear your brace for four hours;
  • Remove brace, check skin;
  • Reapply brace and check skin every two hours for a total of ten hours;
  • This step takes 2 days.

Step 3: Wear your brace 22-23 hours daily.

  • Wear brace before school;
  • At lunchtime or four hours later, remove the brace, check your skin (your school nurse can help) and put the brace back on;
  • After school, remove brace, check skin and wear the brace until you go to bed.  Check your skin one last time before going to bed;
  • Sleep in brace.  You don’t have to check your skin during the night except if you have pain;
  • This step takes 2-3 days.

To help you adapt to your brace

  • Respect each step, take the necessary time;
  • Check your skin daily, even when comfortable with the brace;
  • Contact your orthotist if skin problems arise;
  • Loosen straps during meal time and/or eat smaller meals more often.

Clothing

You may need to wear slightly larger clothes.  Most loose fitting clothing will cover and hide your brace very well.

Sports and activities

When activities can be done while wearing your brace, please do so.  If not, remove the brace for the activity and put the brace back on when finished.

To get the most out of our brace, you must:

  • Gradually increase the time spent in your brace;
  • Wear your brace 22-23 hours daily after the first 2-3 weeks (unless otherwise specified by your doctor);
  • Take care of your skin each day;
  • Wear a snug fitting t-shirt at all times under your brace;
  • Properly apply your brace;
  • Clean your brace daily.
 
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