It’s always exciting to work at the forefront of a field defined by so much innovation. I have written before about the many ways technology is changing orthopedic medicine. Now doctors and entrepreneurs are finding new paths to intuitive medical designs via 3D printing.

No two bodies are the same. This fact has long bedeviled designers and specialists looking to create braces that cover a variety of shapes and ranges of movement. Scoliosis in particular has been infamous in this regard, which is why it is encouraging that some people are finally creating ways to design utterly customized, one-of-a-kind braces:

The 3D printing and design company on Monday released its plans for a scoliosis brace that is devised to be sleek and comfortable. Dubbed “Bespoke,” the 3D-printed brace can be personalized to the backs of children and young adults who have the condition.

It is yet another sign that medical devices are finally catching up to other wearable technologies in terms of versatility and comfort. To learn more about how to relieve and treat back pain, please contact a San Diego orthopedic surgeon today.


Frequent readers know that I write often about the latest advances in stretching and exercise, especially if they have shown promise in helping patients avoid orthopedic surgery. Good warm-ups, smart stretches and better athletic form can often be just as effective as more aggressive surgical procedures.

Now a new article has highlighted an age-old technique for treating curvature of the spine, and it is reviving the debate over whether “bracing” is the best treatment for an S-shaped spine. Known as the Schroth Method, the original customized approach involves stretching and breathing, and extends into everyday life:

The therapy, tailored to each patient’s curves, focuses on halting curve progression, reducing pain, and improving posture, strength and lung function. The exercises include stretching, strengthening and breathing techniques that counteract the rotation of spinal curvatures. Patients are supposed to do them at home and incorporate postural corrections into their daily lives.

Now a randomized study has been performed comparing the Schroth Method to more conventional techniques, and the results were noteworthy:

At the University of Alberta in Canada, researchers recently completed a randomized pilot study of Schroth, financed in part by the research society. The six-month study showed that adolescents with scoliosis who did these exercises fared better than teenagers who didn’t with regard to curve progression, pain and self-image.

This is just one step toward a better way to contain the progressive effects of scoliosis, but it could represent greater changes to come. If you’d like to learn more about the latest news and advances in orthopedic surgery, contact my San Diego offices today.

© 2023 Dr. Robert Afra – San Diego Orthopedic Surgery Shoulder – Knee – Elbow