A TLSO, or thoracolumbosacral orthosis, is a type of back brace used to limit motion and promote healing in the thoracic, lumbar, and sacral regions of the spine. It's typically prescribed after surgery or for stable middle and lower back fractures and can also be used to correct lateral scoliotic curves. Proper use of the TLSO can help the patient maintain proper alignment and mobility during recovery.
Using a TLSO Brace
Bracing is based on the idea that increased weight on a particular area of a growing spine can inhibit its growth. A TLSO brace utilizes specialized pads placed in certain areas to apply pressure on abnormal curves, which helps slow their growth.
By controlling the progression and keeping the Cobb angle below 40 degrees, a patient may be able to avoid surgical interventions such as spinal fusion.
Typically, bracing is limited to the pediatric population as it's most effective for growing spines. Children between the ages of 12 and 15 with Cobb angles ranging from 20 to 40 degrees are often prescribed TLSO braces, typically pre-fabricated in a corset style using rigid plastic and available in small, medium, or large sizes.
In the US, the Boston brace is the most commonly used design. For bracing to be effective, the child is required to wear the brace for a minimum of 18 to 23 hours per day. The recommended duration of bracing is three to five years.
While wearing a TLSO brace underneath loose clothing is feasible, many adolescents may hesitate to wear one that restricts their movements throughout the day. The effectiveness of the brace heavily relies on consistent and prolonged usage.
Unfortunately, many teenagers choose to remove their braces as soon as they arrive at school, resulting in a substantial decrease in the success rate of the treatment.
How To Wear A TLSO Brace
If you've been prescribed a TLSO, brace for an injury or medical condition, it's important to know how to wear it properly. A TLSO brace is designed to provide support and stability to your thoracic, lumbar, and sacral spine areas.
By following some simple steps, you can ensure that the brace effectively manages your condition or injury and is comfortable to wear throughout the day.
Here are some key tips on how to wear a TLSO brace correctly:
Removing a TLSO brace properly is important to prevent further injury or discomfort and ensure that the brace continues functioning as intended.
Here are the steps on how to remove your TLSO brace safely and comfortably:
Following some basic guidelines, you can prevent skin irritation and achieve the best possible results from your brace.
Here are some key points to remember when wearing a brace, including tips on how to safely apply it, how frequently to wear it, and how to check for signs of skin irritation.
To wear a brace for up to five years without the ability to bend the torso makes breathing difficult and exercise impossible. While wearing the brace, activities like dancing, sports, and even simple movements become a challenge.
The physical discomfort is compounded by the psychological harm of teasing and peer stares. Some teenagers feel that the risk of spinal surgery is not worth enduring the challenges associated with wearing a brace.
While a brace can prevent scoliosis from worsening, it doesn't correct the Cobb angle, meaning that misalignment is still present after removing the brace.
That can cause scoliosis to wear out the discs in the spine more quickly, resulting in an increased Cobb angle. Although wearing a brace has a 75% success rate in preventing surgery, one in every four patients will still require surgery.
A Cobb angle of 30 degrees is often the tipping point for whether or not scoliosis progresses to surgery in adulthood, with a high chance that it'll increase at least 10 degrees over time. Doctors may consider surgery for patients with 40-degree Cobb angles or higher.
While a brace can prevent surgery during the teenage years, as the teenager ages, the spine may deteriorate, potentially making surgery necessary despite the brace being considered "successful."
Making the Best Decision for Your Scoliosis Treatment
TLSO Braces can significantly reduce spinal pain, improve posture and help maintain an active lifestyle. With the correct information, you can decide about your treatment options.
At Align Clinic, we help you select the right TLSO Brace for your needs. Call us today and we'll guide you toward the best solution to your spinal condition.
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