Case: 3D-printed Rigo-Cheneau spinal brace
Braces or spinal braces are typically part of a treatment plan for an individual patient case. Our partner, Ortholife, has embraced digital transformation and is designing advanced braces for treating clients using our Embrace Corset solution. This article shares their insight into treating scoliosis with a 3D-printed Rigo-Cheneau brace on a child who started with a Cobb angle of 32 degrees and expects to reduce it to under 20 degrees.
Why use the 3D-print technology
First, let’s have a look at the technology. In the treatment, Ortholife uses a specially designed 3D-printed spinal brace. Compared to traditional correction braces, a 3D-printed version can be created with multi-stiffness applied to specific brace areas. It allows the orthopedic professional to make it rigid in areas vital for correction and flexible in areas providing more comfort.
“3D-printed braces are characterized by their lightweight design, comfort achieved through varying stiffness, functional advancement via meticulous thickness alterations, and precision in advanced CAD design,” as Ortholife CEO and owner Eleftherios Samiotis explained. He also emphasizes the importance of these features, particularly when treating pediatric patients, a common demographic for scoliosis cases, where the average age of the patient is between 10 and 15 years when they start the treatment.
Treating the spine with Rigo-Cheneau brace
In this case, the patient initiated treatment three years ago when the Cobb angle was 32 degrees. Over this period, she underwent three brace fittings with follow-up appointments and X-rays to assess the brace’s fit and the correction she achieved. Each treatment cycle lasts between 6-12 months, after which a new corset may be prescribed to continue the treatment. After three years, the Cobb angle was reduced to 21 degrees, and they anticipate prescribing another correction brace to safeguard the achieved correction and bring the angle under 20 degrees.
About the Rigo-Cheneau corrective brace
Ortholife employs the Rigo-Cheneau brace in the treatment, named after its developers, Dr. Manuel Rigo and Dr. Jacques Cheneau. This 3D corrective brace is designed to address scoliosis and abnormal spine curvature. The Rigo-Cheneau brace is commonly used in the conservative management of scoliosis to prevent further curvature progression. Our partner, Ortholife, specializes in this treatment, aiding children in overcoming complications. The challenge lies in the patients being young and vulnerable, requiring a treatment approach that is both gentle and effective.
Digital transformation for the patient
Upon completing the corrective treatment, the objective is to achieve a Cobb angle curve between 15 to 20 degrees off the corset. This serves as an acceptable and desired endpoint to halt the treatment. Subsequently, the girl will continue with Schroth’s physiotherapy exercises.
Where does 3D printing make a difference? Actually, throughout the entire process. Traditionally, we built a torso brace from a plaster model of the patient’s torso, causing inconvenience, especially for young patients. After the digital transformation, we use scanners to create a 3D model directly transferred into our CAD program, allowing for a more advanced design and build preparation. Consequently, the 3D-printed version enhances correction and provides significantly more comfort,” explains Ortholife CEO and owner Eleftherios Samiotis.