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of the Wilmington Brace
Explore the Wilmington Brace
Bracing for Scoliosis
We’ve all heard of scoliosis, but what exactly is it? Simply put, scoliosis is a condition that causes an individual's spine to become curved and rotated - like the letters “S” or “C”. In some cases, scoliosis can be a harmless condition, but often it is important to straighten the spine to avoid long term issues from arising. Thankfully, here at NEOPS, we are really good at that!
Scoliosis brace design and technology have come a long way since their bulky, rigid predecessors were the industry norm. Modern day scoliosis braces are thin, flexible, and low-profile enough to fit under most clothing. For fun outfit ideas and to read more about scoliosis fashion, head over to our scoliosis patient center.
Recent breakthroughs in scoliosis bracing, most notably going from treating scoliosis one dimensionally to treating it in three dimensions, have made bracing the preferred conservative treatment option for most providers. As a result of this new way of thinking about and treating scoliosis, scoliosis bracing has become more effective, comfortable, and fashion-friendly than ever before.
Scoliosis is a 3-Dimensional Condition
Currently, the diagnosis of scoliosis relies solely on an x-ray, but clinically there is much more involved. In addition to a sideways curvature of the spine (frontal dimension; image 1 below) there is also vertebral rotation, or twisting, of the spine (transverse dimension; image 2 below), as well as a flattening of the trunk, referred to as “flat back” (sagittal dimension; image 3 below). These asymmetries are not always visible on an x-ray, but can often be seen during a clinical exam. When standing behind a patient with scoliosis, the shoulders, hips, and waist appear uneven. Viewed from the side, a patient’s profile may also appear to have a reduced kyphotic curvature. Upon a forward bend, the ribs may have a prominence and one shoulder blade may be more prominent than the other.
Why 3-Dimensional Correction is Important
Because it works! The three dimensional nature of scoliosis has been known for a long time, but only in the past 15 years have these concepts been used in the United States to design and create scoliosis braces. Recent studies have shown that braces incorporating 3-dimensional correction are better able to reduce curvature and rotation, improve alignment, and achieve superior patient compliance and outcomes.
The Wilmington Brace
The Wilmington Brace was developed in 1969 at the Alfred I. DuPont Institute after a patient refused to wear the standard bulky, cumbersome scoliosis brace her physician prescribed. The patient only agreed to a brace that was inconspicuous and easily removable, and so the Wilmington Brace was born. This brace goes onto the body similar to a tight jacket and is known as a full contact TLSO due to its lack of gaps or open spots.
How Does the Wilmington Brace Work?
The Wilmington brace uses a casting system to obtain each patient’s unique body shape. This hands on approach, uses manual application of pressure and derotation by the physician and orthotist to the patient’s torso while casting. The location and amount of pressure is based on curve magnitude, shape and flexibility. An x-ray is taken while you are in the cast to determine the amount of curve reduction and the degree of improvement of the alignment and balance.
Some of the notable innovative features of the Wilmington Brace are:
Designed to apply 3D correction
Easier to put on
What to Expect
Your scoliosis brace will be a reflection of YOU. It will be designed, customized, and fit to you - optimized to correct your curve without the need for surgical intervention. You can even choose the colors and design of your brace!
Each Wilmington brace is custom made and based on a skillful casting technique where corrective forces are applied manually by the physician and orthotist. The brace is fabricated based on the shape of the patient’s curve and flexibility.
In general, the process for receiving your Wilmington Brace always includes the following steps:
During your evaluation we’ll really get to know you. You’ll tell us all about yourself, including your medical history and condition as well as your hobbies, goals and dreams. We’ll conduct a thorough physical evaluation and take you through all aspects of scoliosis brace selection, design, and fabrication. We will also develop a program of care, which is a clinician-supported roadmap that guides patients to their best possible outcome. Establishing a program of care ensures patients and their families have an understanding and clear outline of what to expect during their scoliosis journey. After your evaluation we’ll have a clear game plan and timeline for your bracing journey.
Scanning + Measuring
To measure for the Wilmington brace, a cast is applied to your torso while you lie on your back on a Risser casting table. During the cast application, both elongation, translation and rotation forces are applied with the goal of achieving clinically observed improvement of the curve. While in the cast, an x-ray is taken to determine the amount of reduction of the curve and the degree of improvement of the alignment and balance. If the correction is adequate, the cast is removed and brace fabrication begins.
Fabrication + Brace Design
Fabrication of the Wilmington brace begins by filling your cast and creating a positive model. The model is further modified by hand to refine the position and amount of force applied to the curve(s). Lastly, we heat and vacuum pull plastic over the model to create a brace that gets cut, trimmed, and strapped to build your scoliosis brace!
Fitting + Delivery
Approximately three weeks after your scanning appointment you’ll come in for your brace fitting and delivery. During this appointment, we will assess your brace to ensure pressure and relief areas are properly positioned. We will check your alignment and trim excess plastic to ensure you are able to comfortably sit, stand, and walk. Any final adjustments can be completed on site so you can leave with your brace the same day. To help empower and educate you, we will give you a New Patient Guide, which provides a timeline for follow-up appointments, a daily wearing diary, FAQs, and links to scoliosis resources. This is a very exciting day for our patients and orthotists and marks another chapter in our exciting journey together!
Follow Ups + X-Rays
Unlike other providers, NEOPS doesn’t just make you a brace and send you on your way. We will check in at regular intervals to ensure the brace is comfortable and being worn. Your first in-person follow up appointment will be approximately six to eight weeks after you receive your brace. Subsequent follow ups will be at three and six months. Out-of-brace x-rays will typically take place every six months.
Why Choose NEOPS?
NEOPS is proud to be a leading provider of scoliosis bracing in the United States. As a thought leader and innovator in the field, we are able to offer an unparalleled patient experience and superior outcomes compared to other leading providers.
Treating scoliosis involves the coordinated care of a team of medical experts, and NEOPS is proud to partner with scoliosis specialists in the fields of orthopedics, physical therapy, 3D printing, and biomechanical engineering.
At NEOPS, our clinicians have dedicated their careers to treating scoliosis. Unlike most scoliosis bracing providers who tend to only provide one type of scoliosis brace, NEOPS specializes in several 3-dimensional brace designs and brace designs with a history of proven clinical outcomes. For each patient, the best option will depend upon their skeletal maturity, curve magnitude, amount of rotation, and prescribed wearing schedule. With over 500 years of combined experience there’s nothing we haven’t seen and nothing we can’t do. NEOPS Scoliosis Experts specialize in the following best-in-class scoliosis brace designs:
Our patients are the center of our universe, and our mission is to build strong and lasting relationships to help them set and achieve their goals. For our scoliosis patients, our goal is to provide an effective non-surgical treatment option by designing a functional brace they actually want to wear.
Our mission is to maximize the quality of life of our patients and provide an unparalleled patient-centered experience by mobilizing world-class clinicians, healthcare administrators, and institutional partnership in delivering top-of-the-line prosthetic and orthotic services. Our clinicians and administrators have over 500 years of combined experience. Unlike most orthotic and prosthetic providers who are comprised of generalists, NEOPS is proud to have built a world-class team of specialists in the areas of: Prosthetics, Orthotics, Sports Bracing, Pediatrics and Scoliosis.