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Pioneering Study Highlights Hope For Young People Living With Curvature Of The Spine

Trinity is delighted to be working alongside an inspiring team of medical innovators from South West England to help promote one of its most inspiring products, the Postural Scoliosis Suits – developed for young people affected by curvature of the spine.
The fabric suit (likened by one young user to the “Lycra Suits worn by Team GB Paralympians!”) helps patients avoid radical surgery, whilst also ‘freeing them’ from rigid bracing.
And, new, peer reviewed research, published in “Scoliosis and Spinal Disorders Journal” is now providing GPs and musculoskeletal consultants with exciting evidence into the positive effects of the Dynamic Elastomeric Fabric Orthoses (DEFO) for the management of scoliosis in children – specifically those who are affected because of a neuromuscular condition, such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy.
Overall, Scoliosis affects around 42,000 young people (aged 15 and under) in the UK, leading to 3 to 4 children per 1,000 needing specialist supervision. In most cases the cause is unknown (idiopathic).
This new study (which looked at the clinical notes of 180 young patients) highlighted that 42% of children who had been diagnosed with scoliosis and prescribed a DEFO, saw their condition improve or not progress further. 12% of scoliosis patients were found to no longer need any intervention after an average period of 18 months.
Only a third of cases who were prescribed rigid bracing continued to use this form of orthosis with 11% actually converting to using a DEFO.
Encouragingly, early intervention using DEFO’s could also have a positive financial benefit to the NHS and privately funded healthcare. The cost of surgical intervention for neuromuscular scoliosis is estimated to be US $50,096 (£32,000 approx.) By contrast DEFO’s, cost a fraction of this price.
Scoliosis is the abnormal twisting and curvature of the spine that affects a person’s appearance by “pulling” the ribcage out of position and which may also cause a lump to form on the back. Other possible signs of scoliosis are a shoulder blade that sticks out or an uneven waist.
The spine can curve to the left or the right and can occur in different parts of the spine. Sometimes there are two curves and the spine may look like an S shape from behind. This is called a ‘double curvature’. When the curve is S-shaped a person’s spine can appear quite straight because the two curves cancel each other out.
Lead author and Managing Director of DM Orthotics (based in Redruth, Cornwall), Martin Matthews, comments; “There is little doubt that our study has produced some very interesting results, putting forward strong evidence for the wider use of DEFO’s in the management and prevention of neuropathic onset scoliosis in children and as a positive alternative to rigid bracing and invasive surgery.”
National Scoliosis Awareness Month 2016 takes place throughout June – with the 4th International Scoliosis Awareness Day on Saturday 25 June uniting people across the world to create positive public awareness of scoliosis. The “Got Your Back” campaign also aims to reach thousands of supporters globally via social media #scoliosisgotyourback

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