How is Your Brace Made?
After your healthcare team evaluates you for your scoliosis brace, the photos, measurements, x-rays, and scans are used to actually make your brace. Every detail is reviewed by clinicians and fabrication specialists, and a custom mold is designed to match your exact measurements. This mold is then modified, or adjusted, to push against the curve in your spine. These modifications can take place by hand or in a computer system.
The plastics and foams are heated in an oven and the hot plastic is draped over the mold of your body. If you chose a colorful pattern, that also gets heated and added to the hot plastic. The cooled plastic brace is then hand cut to the shape of your brace, and the edges are then smoothed for comfort. After the brace is smoothed, all the necessary hardware, such as straps and buckles, are added.
Finally, your clinician will fit your brace to you and make any adjustments needed for maximum comfort and effectiveness.
Many orthotists use a manufacturer to help with the fabrication process. In the video below, one of the common manufacturers Spinal Technology shows what their process looks like.
In this next video, Rilyn Dinyae shows how a Rigo Cheneau scoliosis brace is fabricated. Her orthotist, Luke Stikeleather, is the President of the National Scoliosis Center and loves including patients in the fabrication process when he can. Some orthotists do their own fabrication instead of sending the information to a manufacturer. Feel free to ask your orthotist what process they use!