orthotics and prosthetics

Scoliosis Specialty

AIS Scoliosis

At Cornell, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of tackling Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), a complex condition characterized by a lateral curvature and axial rotational deformity of the spine. Though bracing is effective, a need remains to identify the effect brace type has on spine curvature.

Understanding and Addressing AIS Scoliosis at Cornell


Idiopathic scoliosis is a type of scoliosis that cause the spine to develop an abnormal curve. “Idiopathic” means there is no definite cause. Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type of scoliosis. It tends to run in families and affects girls eight times as often as it affects boys.


Our expert team, consisting of doctors and orthopedists, employs advanced diagnostic techniques, including X-rays and other tests, to accurately diagnose scoliosis.


The rigid curvatures directly caused by affected bones resist straightening. Often, compensatory curves, which are flexible, develop above or below the rigid sections. Our renowned orthopedic surgeons may recommend spinal bracing, particularly a thoracic lumbar sacral orthosis (TLSO), to address these compensatory curves.

Boston & Providence Braces

There are two primary types of braces used today to treat idiopathic scoliosis; the Boston Brace and the Providence Brace. The Boston Brace is intended to be used day and night. The Providence Brace is used only at night. Both braces are recognized by the Scoliosis Research Society of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Spinal Bracing Integration

Spinal bracing, integral to the serial casting program, maintains correction achieved in casts during designated "brace holidays."

Risk Mitigation during Skeletal Growth

Both idiopathic and compensatory curves are susceptible to worsening during skeletal growth. Our orthotic interventions, carefully designed and implemented, aim to delay the necessity for surgical correction. This proactive approach not only addresses the immediate concerns but also allows for normal growth potential in affected children.

Choose Cornell for a comprehensive and unparalleled approach to idiopathic scoliosis, where our multidisciplinary team combines expertise, advanced diagnostics, and innovative treatments to provide the best possible outcomes for every individual.

Our commitment to early intervention, precise diagnostics, and customized treatments reflects our dedication to providing the highest standard of care for every patient.

NeuroMuscular Scoliosis

At Cornell, we take pride in being the forefront in effectively addressing neuromuscular scoliosis, a distinctive form of scoliosis causing an abnormal curvature of the spine. This type of scoliosis is often prevalent in children with medical conditions that impact muscle control supporting the spine, such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, spinal cord injury, spinal muscular atrophy, or other syndromes affecting the nervous or muscular systems.

Understanding Neuromuscular Scoliosis: Excellence in Care at Cornell

Signs and Symptoms

Early signs of neuromuscular scoliosis manifest in childhood, including uneven shoulders, leaning to one side, and protrusion of ribs or waist on one side compared to the opposite side. This condition hampers proper balance and trunk alignment, potentially affecting sitting and walking. Our expert team at Cornell is adept at identifying these nuanced symptoms, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the disorder.


Our multidisciplinary approach involves assessments by orthopedists, neurosurgeons, or neurologists for a conclusive diagnosis. Radiographs are routinely employed to confirm spine alignment and the severity of the curvature. Regular X-rays are taken to monitor changes and assess the response to brace treatment.


Early intervention is crucial in neuromuscular scoliosis, where progression can persist into adulthood. Neglecting treatment may lead to complications such as loss of balance, mobility issues, and interference with lung function. Cornell's expertise shines in prescribing spinal orthoses, particularly custom thoracic lumbar sacral orthosis (TLSO), designed to enhance spinal alignment, stability, and sitting balance. While the brace may not correct the curvature, our focus is on improving alignment and increasing functional independence.

Comprehensive Care

Cornell recognizes that children with neuromuscular scoliosis often present with diverse medical challenges. Our approach involves a collaborative effort among doctors and healthcare professionals from various specialties. This comprehensive team ensures tailored care addressing both the spinal curve and associated medical issues, fostering optimal patient outcomes.

Choose Cornell for unparalleled expertise and a multidisciplinary approach to neuromuscular scoliosis. Our commitment to early intervention, precise diagnostics, and customized treatments reflects our dedication to providing the highest standard of care for every patient.

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