Boston brace

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The Boston brace, a type of thoraco-lumbo-sacral-orthosis (TLSO),[1] is a back brace used primarily for the treatment of idiopathic scoliosis in children.[2] It was developed in 1972 by M.E "Bill" Miller and John Hall at the Boston Children's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.[2]


Rear view of a woman wearing a Boston brace

Since it lacks the metal superstructure of the Milwaukee brace, which was the most commonly worn brace until the development of the Boston brace,[3] the brace is typically not noticeable under clothing. The Boston brace is prescribed for correcting curves in the lumbar or thoraco-lumbar part of the spine. It is designed to keep the lumbar area of the body in a flexed position by pushing the abdomen in and flattening the posterior lumbar contour.[citation needed] Pads are placed at the apex of the curves to provide pressure, and areas of relief from pressure are positioned opposite the curves.[citation needed]

The brace is normally used with growing adolescents to hold a 20° to 45° advancing curve.[1][4] The brace is made of high density polypropylene lined with polyethylene foam[4] that is customized to the individual patient, and it opens in the back via a series of Velcro straps.

Daily use of the brace ranges from 16–23 hours a day.[5] The brace is intended to minimize the progression to an acceptable level, not to correct the curvature.[6] If the curvature continues despite the brace, then the wearer may have to undergo spinal fusion surgery.


M.E. "Bill" Miller patented the Boston brace in 1975.[7]


  1. ^ a b Seymour, Ron (2002). Prosthetics and orthotics : lower limb and spinal. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 9780781728546.
  2. ^ a b "Orthopedic Center - History of Innovations". Boston Children's Hospital. Archived from the original on 18 May 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Bracing". University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  4. ^ a b Newton, Peter; O'Brien, Michael (2010). Idiopathic Scoliosis: The Harms Study Group Treatment Guide. Thieme. ISBN 9781604060256.
  5. ^ Staheli, Lynn T. (2008). Fundamentals of pediatric orthopedics (4th ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 9780781774970.
  6. ^ Baratz, Mark E.; Watson, Anthony D.; Imbriglia, Joseph E. (1999). Orthopaedic surgery : the essentials. New York [u.a.]: Thieme. ISBN 9780865777798.
  7. ^ "A History of Innovative Support". Retrieved 8 Apr 2012.