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The Future of Scoliosis Bracing? Dynamic Braces for Kids with Scoliosis Now in Development

February 22, 2016

 

Scoliosis is a condition that causes abnormal curvature of the spine.  For the 3 percent of children diagnosed with scoliosis, the typical treatment means years of wearing a rigid, plastic, corrective brace. 

Recently, researchers at Columbia’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering, in partnership with scoliosis experts from the Division of Pediatric Orthopedics at Columbia Orthopedics, have developed a prototype that promotes a smart exoskeleton to bend and move with the patient’s body, while exerting targeted force on the affected areas of the spine.  This provides patients with the advantages of bracing, while also being able to twist and bend in many activities. 

The new smart exoskeleton brace also provides real-time data to clinicians and researchers.  Unlike traditional braces, the smart exoskeleton has sensors that measure the amount of force required to align the body.  This information may be able to account for how the patient’s spine is reacting to a specific treatment, so that doctors may consider what the next steps should be.

Read more about this groundbreaking project.

 

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