Gensingen Brace Treatment for Scoliosis
The Gensingen brace™ is the first orthotic treatment for scoliosis that is evidence based. It is now prescribed by specialist clinics worldwide as a preferable alternative to surgery providing proven successful outcomes.
The Gensingen brace™ is the brain child of Dr Hans-Rudolf Weiss, a third generation Schroth family – a family with a lifetime’s dedication to the advance of conservative treatment for scoliosis. Dr Weiss has worked tirelessly on brace development since the 1990s.
The ultimate result – The Gensingen brace™ - is recognised to be the most effective and most comfortable brace to use in the treatment of scoliosis. In contrast to the so-called ‘hard’ braces which attempt to treat scoliosis by essentially immobilising the patient, the Gensingen brace guides the body though a gentle corrective movement, realigning the spine and reducing distortions in posture. The design is based on the principle that scoliosis should be addressed in 3 dimensions for the most successful outcomes.
Adolescent LOC patient fitted with bespoke Gensingen brace™
How does the Gensingen brace™ work?
The protocol in the UK, if the Cobb angle – the metric for measuring the extent of the bend in the spine – is less than 20° then it is normally just monitored. If it’s between 20° and 40° then typically a patient will be referred to an orthotic service for a Boston or a TLSO brace to delay the progression of the curve. According to NHS guidelines, if it’s over 40° then they would be advised to have surgery. To slow the progression of the curve during growth spurts, the Boston and the TLSO brace are prescribed on the NHS. By contrast the Gensingen™ brace actively reduces the curvature by loading the spinal bones 3 dimensionally to change their shape (and thereby reducing the Cobb angle) whilst growth completes. Bracing can also help with pain management, reduce the need for surgery later and improve cosmetic appearance.
Each bespoke Gensingen brace™ is made according to the following protocol - the assessment, along with other medical notes taken by our orthotists, is sent to Dr Hans-Rudolf Weiss (grandson of Katharina Schroth) who applies his brace design and correction for the individual patient. This template is then used by LOC to make the brace in-house which is then fitted by our orthotists to ensure an optimum fit.
How efficient is the Gensingen™ brace?
Typically bracing is used for a Cobb angle between 20° to 40° but we are seeing results with more than 40°. So far, the highest curve LOC has treated is 93° and we have already started to see results.
Another bonus is that it can be made available in short time, especially in clinics like LOC with their own milling and manufacturing technologies, and tweaks can be made easily. The brace requires less material and as a result, its slimline shape is easier to conceal under clothing.
How long can the Gensingen™ brace take to work?
The brace works very quickly and if worn for the recommended 22 hours a day, changes may start to be noticed in the first four weeks, although wear time and age are both factors. The brace is normally worn for the length of time a person continues to grow, so it could be a number of years in the case of young adolescents.
The 22 hour a day wear time reduces as the curve improves. With many patients, after their first brace, they will probably need to wear a different brace for 12 to 16 hours a day to ensure that the improvement is maintained.
Adolescent LOC patient before and after 4 weeks in bespoke Gensingen brace™
Comparison with Other Braces
Despite being a hard brace, the Gensingen™ is a more comfortable alternative. Pockets of space built within the brace leave room for the curved spine to move and for the patient to breathe into. Other conventional braces, like the Boston brace currently prescribed by the NHS is a completely enclosed body jacket which compresses. Whereas the Gensingen™ works by guiding the movement of the spine so that there is space for it to move into, complying with the Schroth Best Practice method.
A series of studies using the Gensingen brace™ has produced success rates of over 95%.The brace has also been used successfully to address Cobb angles in excess of 40° where surgery would previously have been indicated. Read further information about the Gensingen Brace™
Table comparing the conservative Boston brace with the Gensingen brace™