When a growing adolescent is diagnosed with progressive idiopathic scoliosis and the spinal curvature is between 25 and 40 degrees, the physician may prescribe wearing a brace to keep the curvature from worsening. Studies have proven that bracing is effective compared to correction without treatment.
Unfortunately, in 20-25 percent of patients, maintaining or achieving a correction with bracing does not work, and it is not possible to predict the outcome. While the curvature can improve during the time the child is braced, it typically reverts to its original degree of severity when the use of the brace is eventually discontinued at the cessation of growth. However, some individuals achieve permanent correction, with the curvature held to an acceptable level, thus avoiding the need for surgery.