Scoliosis Update - read blog post

Cheneau Brace

The London Orthotic Consultancy has been providing bracing treatment for scoliosis since it opened in 2005. For the last five years, LOC has prescribed and fitted the Cheneau-Gensingen brace for its scoliosis patients where active intervention was indicated. Dr Jaques Cheneau developed his first brace in 1979. His brace design acknowledged that scoliosis is a three-dimensional condition and focuses on the three-dimensional correction of the spine in the coronal (front), transverse (rotational) and sagittal (side)planes. Goals for brace wearers are stabilization at a minimum but LOC has witnessed at first hand significant spinal corrections in our patients, particularly juvenile and adolescents.

Since its initial development, Cheneau bracing has been intertwined with the Schroth concept for scoliosis. Dr Cheneau visited Katherina Schroth and Christa Lehnert-Schroth at their renowned clinic in Germany. He immediately understood the efficacy of the Schroth breathing concept and incorporated this into his brace designs using the augmented Lehnert-Schroth curve-pattern classifications which for decades have been the basis of Schroth scoliosis treatment.

Today there are several Cheneau derivatives and LOC has made some small adjustments to the original design, primarily to improve comfort for the wearer – compliance to the prescribed wearing regime is very important for successful treatment outcomes. Given the collective experience in fitting and fine-tuning hundreds of Cheneau-Gensingen braces, our team of Schroth certified clinicians and our in-house manufacturing team are looking forward to introducing our version of the Cheneau brace in January 2022.

How does the Cheneau Brace work?

The protocol in the UK, if the Cobb angle 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. In contrast, a Cheneau brace actively reduces the curvature by loading the spinal bones 3 dimensionally to change their shape (thereby reducing the Cobb angle) whilst growth completes. Cheneau bracing can also help with pain management, reduce the need for surgery later in life and improve cosmetic appearance.

Following a patient’s assessment, a series of scans, photographs and measurements are taken by one of our scoliosis clinicians. Based on this input, the bespoke scoliosis brace is modelled using CAD/CAM technology and our in-house manufacturing unit then produce the scoliosis brace.

The brace is then fitted and fine-tuned by one of our clinicians. We monitor each patient's progress with regular review appointments, typically every 2-3 months. We welcome communication from parents and patients with our clinical team, we are then able to quickly respond to make brace adjustments as a patient grows, for example.