The use of bracing in the treatment of mild idiopathic scoliosis is controversial. A study of 33 adolescents showed that bracing significantly decreased lung volumes. Functional residual capacity was reduced by a mean of 26%, 18% of children showing a reduction of greater than 40%. The mean reduction in total lung capacity was 16% and in forced vital capacity 18%. This restriction of lung function by bracing might have a deleterious effect on lung growth or might impose an additional risk factor in the presence of other disorders, such as asthma and diaphragmatic weakness. The use of bracing in individuals with mild scoliosis should be judiciously reassessed.
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