About Your New Scoliosis Orthosis (SO)

A scoliosis orthosis (SO) is a custom made underarm brace, which means that it fits under the arm and around the rib cage, lower back, and hips.  It is used to correct scoliosis, a medical condition in which the spine is curved from side to side, and works by applying pressure to these curves

The following instructions were designed to help you properly clean, care for, and use your new orthosis.  Please read these instructions carefully and let your orthotist know if you have any questions.  Compliance with your health care providers’ instructions is essential for the effective use of this device.  Be sure to follow any special instructions given to you by your physician or orthotist, in addition to those provided here.    

Wearing Instructions

Applying Your Brace

The following instructions describe how to apply your new brace. 

  1. Before applying your brace, put on a tight-fitting t-shirt.  Your orthotist may have provided you with a special t-shirt to wear.  The right shirt will be tight enough that it does not wrinkle under your SO.
  2. While lying on your back, roll to your side and slide the brace around your back.  Line the waist pads up with your waist.  Roll back over onto your back.  You may need to reposition the brace again if it moved when you rolled back.  If so, make sure the waist pads are in the correct area.
  3. Secure the Velcro straps, starting with the middle strap first.  Your orthotist may have marked the Velcro straps for you.  Make sure the straps are secured to these marks.  If your abdomen is swollen, these marks may need to be adjusted as your volume changes.

 Your orthosis may also be applied while standing, but you will need assistance in securing the straps tightly.

Suggested Wearing Schedules

The wearing schedule for your scoliosis brace depends on whether your physician’s prescription specifies nighttime or daytime wearing.  The break in period for this brace is usually one to two weeks.


  1. Put the brace on while lying down in bed. 
  2.  The first night you wear the brace, you will probably sleep only a few hours before waking.  Remove the brace when you wake up and sleep the rest of the night without the brace on. 
  3.  Repeat this procedure each night, until you are able to sleep completely through the night with the brace on.  You should find that you are able to sleep for a longer period time in the brace each night.  If you are unable to sleep through the night while wearing the brace after two weeks, contact our office or your orthotist.


  1.  On the first day, your brace should be worn for ½ hour intervals, and then removed for approximately 20 to 30 minutes
  2.  Each time you remove the brace, check your skin for irritation.  (You made need someone to help you with this task, or you can use a mirror to inspect your back.)    It is normal to have red or pink area over your hip bones where your orthosis is secured.  However, if there are red areas or other marks that don’t go away within 15 to 30 minutes, stop using your orthosis and call your orthotist right away.
  3.  Gradually increase the wearing time throughout the week, until you are able to tolerate wearing the brace 23 out of 24 hours, or full time while sleeping, if your brace is a nocturnal (nighttime) scoliosis brace.
  4.  Check your brace periodically to make sure the brace is fitting snugly, and that it is correctly aligned.

Care of Your Skin and Brace

Good hygiene is important to protect your skin from irritation.  Wash your skin with mild soap and warm water daily.  Avoid using moisturizers.

Use a cloth and rubbing alcohol to wipe down the hard plastic outer shell of your brace each day.  Make sure the brace is completely dry before reapplying it.

Potential Risks & Precautions

You may experience changes in weight and abdominal volume that affect the fit of your brace.  If this happens, contact our office and we will schedule an appointment to adjust your brace.

Never operate a motor vehicle or heavy machinery while wearing this brace.  The TLSO may restrict your vision, mobility, and reaction times.

Never attempt to adjust, repair, or otherwise modify your TLSO.  The components of this device have been carefully chosen, assembled, adjusted, and secured according to your physician’s prescription and the manufacturers’ specifications.  In order to maintain the safety and effectiveness of your device, adjustments may only be made by a qualified medical professional.

For medical emergencies, call 911 or your local hospital.