Same-Day Scoliosis Service for International Patients
In 2022 we successfully introduced a same-day service for scoliosis patients in the UK. We are now extending that opportunity to international patients; thus reducing the amount of time needed to be spent in the UK.
The service is simple, we assess patients before 10.30am in the morning and fit the custom-made LOC Scoliosis brace in the afternoon.
LOC can provide this service because our scoliosis team can assess, model and manufacture our brace in-house at our headquarters clinic in Kingston upon Thames. We believe this to be a unique level of service in the world.
In addition, the next day, we refer our patients for a rapid low-dose scan to confirm the efficacy of our scoliosis brace fitted the previous day. Other clinics typically organise scans at the 2-month mark and only then are changes made to improve the fit and correction in the brace.
Doing an immediate scan means that we know what scale of correction we will achieve with our brace and if we think further improvements can be made, we fine-tune the brace immediately. This means that our overseas patients can return home knowing that they are wearing a brace which has been optimized as much as possible to rapidly correct the curvature of the spine.
We recommend parents/patients plan for a five-day stay in London. This gives sufficient time for any specialist physiotherapy input and a further review with one of our scoliosis clinicians in addition to the service described above.
We recommend that parents and patients arrange to have a free initial virtual scoliosis appointment with one of our clinical team. There is no charge for this appointment.
During the appointment, you will be able to ask all the questions you have about the treatment, the brace-wearing regime and the treatment review process.
Contact us by clicking the link or using the form below to book an appointment.
Location of Kingston Clinic
Our clinic is less than a 45-minute cab ride from Heathrow airport and under an hour from Gatwick.
Address: 1 Elm Crescent, Kingston-upon-Thames, London KT2 6HL
The Double Tree by Hilton is a 4-star hotel that is under a 10-minute walk from the clinic.
(Please note, all follow-up brace fitting appointments must be carried out at our Kingston clinic.)
Address: Ten Harley Street, 10 Harley Street, London, W1G 9PF
What is the LOC Scoliosis brace?
The London Orthotic Consultancy has been providing bracing treatment for scoliosis since it opened in 2005. Between 2016-2021 LOC prescribed and fitted derivatives of the Cheneau-Gensingen brace for its scoliosis patients where active intervention was indicated.
Today there are several Cheneau-Gensingen derivatives. LOC launched its own in 2022, the LOC Scoliosis Brace. Our brace has been fine-tuned according to feedback from our patients and from referring spinal consultants, to ensure we are achieving as much skeletal correction as possible in-brace for each individual user, whilst also making our brace as comfortable as possible.
We now have a year’s quantitative data on the in-brace curve correction we are achieving with the LOC Scoliosis brace – it’s just over 86%. This compares with Boston braces which aim to achieve 50% and other asymmetric braces that are available in the UK that achieve between 50-65%.
Treatment recommendations are based on the Cobb angle of the patient and the risk of progression. For curves under 20 degrees LOC monitors the patient’s curve while the patient undertakes a tailored exercise programme based on Schroth principles; this is delivered by our partner in providing scoliosis treatment – Scoliosis SOS. For curves above 20 degrees, LOC prescribes its LOC Scoliosis Brace which works three-dimensionally to guide the patient’s spine into a more correct position, substantially reducing their Cobb angle. For optimum correction, we recommend that bracing is combined with specialist physiotherapy. This joint approach means our patients are getting the best and most appropriate advice from two scoliosis specialists, one with an orthotic perspective and one with a physiotherapy perspective.
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.
LOC understands that time is of the essence, particularly for newly diagnosed adolescents where the scoliosis curve can get worse quickly; we now offer same-day service – a new patient can be assessed and fitted with a bespoke brace on the same day.
As adults have reached skeletal maturity and the vertebrae are no longer malleable, an orthotic brace is unlikely to be able to correct the existing Cobb angle of the patient. However, LOC prescribes bespoke back braces to reduce posture-related pain and improve appearance and posture.
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.
Risks of spinal fusion surgery are like that of any other major procedure and include infection, blood clots and anaesthesia complications. The added risks include permanent nerve damage to the spine and paralysis.
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