15 May 2023
It was a significant moment for the team as we delivered three presentations at the scoliosis and spine health conference. These were based on our own clinical research and treatment outcomes with the LOC's Scoliosis Brace since its launch in January 2022.
It was a privilege to be able to present our findings to an audience that included some of the leading experts in the field of scoliosis spinal health. This achievement is a testament to the hard work of our orthotists and our commitment to delivering excellent outcomes for our scoliosis patients. Particularly lead scoliosis clinician Anna Courtney and director Sam Walmsley who co-authored the papers.
When it comes to treating scoliosis, our focus has always been on achieving the best outcomes for each patient: reducing Cobb angles, reducing discomfort, and avoiding the need for surgery.
Our ethos is focused on monitoring and using data and feedback from our patients to improve the brace. This allows us to make tweaks to our braces continuously, measuring the outcomes and making more improvements. In short, our scoliosis brace seeks to straighten and correct the spine as much as possible while still being comfortable to wear. The data that we shared at SOSORT demonstrated that we are achieving an average of over 75% correction with our three-dimensional brace.
By focusing on innovative treatment and exploring new approaches, we hope to continue making strides in improving the lives of patients with scoliosis. Not just in the UK, but worldwide.
Jack Choong says “It has been an absolute pleasure to be able to take part and contribute to the SOSORT 2023 conference this year. Scoliosis is a condition that affects around 0.5 to 5.2% of adolescents in the UK. At over 8 million people, that's a lot of patients who we can work towards making their quality of life and function significantly better.”
We are very pleased to announce that we have also received an invitation from the Scoliosis Research Society to present at their 58th Annual Meeting from the 6 to the 9th of September 2023 in Seattle, Washington, USA.
We will be sharing links to our clinical research in due course. We look forward to developing these studies and advancing our clinical process and algorithms, all to continue providing the best evidence-based treatments for our patients.
Especially in young people, spotting the early signs of scoliosis is important – as is seeking early treatment. These are the warning signs to look out for:
You can find out more about the visual signs of scoliosis here.
If your child has recently been diagnosed with scoliosis or if you have concerns about your child’s spine and you would like to find out more, read more about LOC’s bracing treatment here.
Most of the patients LOC see have what is termed idiopathic scoliosis - which means that there is no known medical cause for the condition. What we do know is that scoliosis tends to occur during periods of rapid body growth and adolescents account for over 80% of all diagnosed cases in children.
The general protocol in the UK is that if an x-ray is taken in-brace, a ‘good’ brace should aim to reduce the original curve by 50%.
At LOC, we often refer patients for a rapid low dose scan to confirm the efficiency of our braces following the fitting. This scan is typically performed at the 2-month mark in other braces, and changes are then made to improve the fit of the brace and the correction in the brace. We have found that a rapid scan gives the clinician a very clear indication as to the correction that will be achieved, whilst ensuring no time is wasted (and therefore correction lost) while waiting for this scan.
Whilst it varies from patient to patient, the LOC Scoliosis Brace offers more than 50% skeletal correction. To the extreme, we have seen corrections exceeding 100% (as below) in the LOC Scoliosis Brace, which is why these braces can be termed ‘over-corrective’. In these instances, it is possible to proceed with reduced brace wearing hours, or if full time bracing is still indicated, the brace can be altered. This ‘over-correction’ gives the wearer the greatest chance at skeletal correction. If for any reason, our clinician is not fully satisfied with the skeletal in-brace correction after receiving the x-ray, the brace will be re-modelled and re-made (free of charge) as part of a multi-colleague meeting – this ensures all our patients are in gold standard braces, whilst not losing any possible corrective time in-brace.
We are pleased to offer a free-of-charge, virtual assessment should you wish to be screened for scoliosis. If we feel a referral to an Orthopaedic Consultant is warranted, we recommend a consultation at The Wimbledon Clinic, Parkside with Mr Darren Lui, Mr Jason Bernard or Mr Tim Bishop. The consultant would arrange the imaging as required. Obviously, you can also seek advice from your family GP.
The operation used to treat severe scoliosis curves is typically spinal fusion surgery; a major procedure that involves moving muscles and realigning the skeleton into place. The curved, deformed vertebrae are fused together into a single bone, putting metal screws and rods into the spine to help straighten it. Surgery typically lasts between 4 and 8 hours depending on the severity of the curve. Bone graft is then taken from other parts of the body and used to cover the implants.
Following the operation, it is necessary to spend around a week in intensive care before returning home and the first few days are often uncomfortable. Most adolescents can expect to return to school from 2-4 weeks following surgery, but pain medication may be required up to 6 weeks following. A full recovery from the procedure can take up to a year, as it can take that long for the spine to heal fully.
Spinal fusion surgery causes the fused portion of the back to become permanently stiff, as a result, returning to sports that require large amounts of flexibility (ballet, yoga, gymnastics, dance) or contact (rugby, football, karate, hockey) may take longer.
My results are amazing and unexpected, and I am glad that I received the brace through LOC. I am still wearing the brace 18 months later and my back feels even straighter. Thanks to LOC I realised that I wanted to help people with similar if not the same condition as me, so I am now going to Salford University in September to study Orthotics and Prosthetics so I will hopefully be able to help others with Scoliosis as much as LOC has helped me.
If you say something is going to be easy it will be easy and if you say something will be hard it will be hard. So, I'm just going to say that wearing my brace is easy. And as it turns out, it really is.
LOC has helped remove the stress from our situation. They have given us hope based on their extensive knowledge and expertise.
I had my brace fitted and I was also given a personalised exercise programme to help with my 3D rotation. Not only was I wearing this new brace but I still had my pectus brace on and the amazing orthotists managed to combine the two so they worked together. I really struggled with this at first; however, I kept going and now I’m really glad I did. My scoliosis overcorrected by 10 degrees and I was able to reduce my scoliosis brace wear to 16 hours a day within 6 weeks.
Don’t wait. It’s about the children because they are more likely to be confident in their late teens if you act quickly and support them. We have been lucky because we understand the condition well. That’s one of the main things, to be honest. It was hard work, but it pays off in the end.
I finally found that I had arrived at the right place and something was actually being done.
My pain levels are hugely improved, my ribs were tender and now they are not. My brace was made individually for me. It’s not one size fits all and, if it is not completely perfect, LOC alters it on the spot. I was so surprised that I could wear the brace under my clothes, I did not need to go and buy anything, I just wear loose tops.
The brace is very light. Obviously, the first couple of days we were told it was going to be uncomfortable for her, I bought so many pillows! But although the first night was not very comfortable, the second night she got used to it and then she was wearing it all day long and I thought ‘that’s brilliant!’ She was only taking it off for two or three hours to go out with friends or do the exercises, but she didn’t have any problems really.
The whole experience has been very good. LOC make you feel welcome from the beginning, and you can ask as many questions as you want, and they answer everything. If you have a problem they give you their personal mobile so you can just call them if you have a problem and they’ll solve it straight away. I’m very pleased with the treatment, the people, with everything.
She’s wearing the brace all the time now and she’s doing very well. She’s very good at school too, the brace doesn’t get in the way of anything. It fits underneath her school uniform and you can’t see it. Sometimes I even have to ask her when she’s sitting down if she’s wearing it because I can’t see it! She says ‘of course mummy’ and I say ‘let me try!’ I have to knock through the clothes and only then can I hear she’s wearing the brace!
Obviously, the results speak for themselves. If I were to give any advice [to parents in a similar position] it would be to contact LOC. Ricarda likes it there, she loves the people and felt really comfortable, everything was really relaxed and nice.