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Spinal bracing

The bracing service at Sheffield Children’s Hospital aims to get the best results possible. Bracing is a commitment for you and your family, and we understand how difficult it is to wear a full-time brace.


A full time brace is prescribed for 20 hours each day.

Growth makes the scoliosis curves get bigger, so bracing will continue until you stop growing. This may be as short as 1.5 years but can be longer and your surgeon will estimate this for you.

The aim of bracing is to reduce the chance of the scoliosis curve getting worse and needing surgery. If your brace stops the curve reaching 50 degrees by the time you have finished growing, the curve will rarely get bigger during adult life and surgery offers no other long-term advantages. You will get used to the spinal consultants and orthotists measuring the size of the curve but remember that even when the same X-ray is measured twice, the curve size may change by a few degrees which is nothing to worry about.

Spinal clinics

You will be seen in clinic every 3 months. Visits will alternate between seeing the orthotist only or seeing the orthotist and consultant at the same visit (see flowchart below). You will get a new brace if the brace becomes too small due to growth. This is usually every 9 to 12 months depending on your growth. Measurement for the new brace will usually be done at the routine appointment where the need for a new brace is identified. However, with each new brace there will then be 2 additional appointments: one for fitting and one for an in-brace X-ray 4 to 6 weeks after fitting.

The appointments where you see the orthotist and consultant on the same day are organised 2 to 3 months before. Co-ordination of these is difficult as the orthotist and consultant need to be in clinic at the same time. If you cannot attend the appointment or cancel it, an alternative appointment to see the orthotist will be provided. This may mean that the consultant appointment may be with another consultant or a telephone appointment with your usual consultant.


When you have an appointment to see the orthotist and consultant, please remove the brace 2-4 hours before but remember to bring it with you to the appointment.

There are 4 parts to each appointment so please allow 2 to 3 hours:

Appointment Time
1.     X-ray (EOS) out-of-brace in the outpatient department. 15 mins (due at the appointment time on your letter)
2.     Orthotist 45 mins
3.     Height, weight and formetric scan 15 mins (this may be done after you see the Consultant)
4.     Consultant 15 mins

Download the Bracing at Sheffield Childrens flowchart to see the timeline of a bracing journey. Download

More resources

Please see our Full-time bracing resource for everything you need to know about having a brace.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

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Orthotic Department: 0114 271 7271


Western Bank
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

Interesting Facts

We’ve got a special MRI scanner just for teddies so children can see what it’s like before they have a scan.

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