A word to Emery J. Maloney, Our scoliosis specialist
Melody P. | Westminster, CO
My daughter Molly was diagnosed with moderate scoliosis 2 years ago, when she was 6 years old. After speaking with a spine surgeon, who told us that she would eventually need spinal fusion surgery even if she wore a brace, we met with P.T. Julie Edelman at Avanti Physical Therapy in Boulder, CO for another opinion. Julie recommended the WCR brace and felt that if Molly could faithfully wear this brace during her growing years, she could possibly avoid surgery altogether. We decided that we had to at least try this alternative in the hopes of not having to put Molly through a major spinal surgery. We were lucky that the Align Clinic was coming to Boulder the next month and could fit Molly into her first WCR brace right away. We paid for the brace out of pocket, which was a substantial cost, but we had decided that the budgeting we would have to do to afford it was worth the investment to give Molly the best possible outcome.
The day that Molly was fitted for her first WCR brace was a bit overwhelming. The Align Clinic team, headed by Emery Maloney, was personable and informative, and they had great patience for Molly’s silly, nervous energy. She was excited about the color pattern she had chosen and the extra attention she’d be sure to get when wearing the brace, but the discomfort of wearing it soon overshadowed everything else. We had been told about the adjustment period ahead of time, and it was no joke. After an extra trip back to the clinic to make adjustments to her brace, it was finally wearable. However, it took weeks before she felt she could wear it for hours at a time, and months before her skin adjusted to the pressure points. The novelty of the brace wore off pretty quickly for Molly, and she had times of frustration and annoyance with having to wear it for so many hours. The first X-ray after wearing the brace part time for 6 months reminded us that Molly needed to wear it for at least 20 hours a day for it to be effective. She had had a big growth spurt and her curve had increased by 10 degrees. She was almost seven, with still so much growing to do. We met with Julie, the P.T., to discuss our options, including different surgeries (even flying to St. Louis to meet with another spine surgeon). Julie still felt that if we could be faithful about Molly wearing the brace for at least 20 hours a day, her curve would decrease. So, we renewed our efforts. Eventually, the WCR brace became a way of life for Molly. She had more good days in the brace than bad days. The next X-ray showed a decrease in her curve and confirmed that our efforts were paying off. By this time, Molly had outgrown her first brace. She was fitted for a new brace, which wasn’t as difficult to get used to as the first one. Her curve had changed position, so her new brace was a different shape, but she adapted quickly. The following X-ray was even more promising. Molly is now 8, and will soon be getting her third WCR brace. She can now put her brace on by herself and adjust the straps on her own. She has figured out how to use the bathroom without taking it off. We have finally found comfortable, seamless undershirts, so there are some days when she doesn’t take off her brace for over 30 hours. I feel that if we can continue in this way, and I know it won’t always be easy, then we have a great chance of keeping Molly from spinal fusion surgery and giving her a great outcome. Our experience with the WCR brace has been promising. We are most impressed with the brace’s ability to reduce our daughter Molly’s curve, not just stabilize it. We have seen proof of this in her improved X-rays and clinical photos after a period of faithfully wearing the WCR brace. Molly has never worn a Boston brace, but she has friends with them. After feeling and holding a Boston brace, we have noted that the WCR is lighter and less bulky, and seems less hot to wear in warm weather. The Align Clinic team comes to Colorado several times a year, so we have been able to avoid the expense of traveling to California. The team has been friendly and professional. We are so far very comfortable with our choice to go with the WCR brace. It will be a long journey before Molly is done growing, but we feel that the WCR is the most effective option available to us at this time in order to give her the best possible outcome.
Jan A. (Adult Patient) | Boulder, CO | November 2018
Fortunately, I went to Avanti Therapy in Boulder, CO, and met with Julie Edelman, PT, DPT, and Julie taught me the very important Schroth exercise techniques necessary to develop atrophied muscles on the concave sides of the curves, which helps to straighten and maintain better alignment of the spine. Julie Edelman is the most knowledgeable person I have ever met about every aspect of scoliosis. She also recommended that I go to Align Clinic in San Mateo, CA. to have a brace made by Grant Wood, owner of Align Clinic, and one of the developers of the WCR brace.
It was in February 2015 that I received this MIRACLE BRACE, and almost immediately, very positive changes had begun. My objective in having a brace was to stop any further progression of the curves. This brace not only halted the progression, but the improvements were beyond my dreams. The pain stopped immediately, and within 6 months, the lumbar and thoracic curves had decreased. I no longer leaned to the left, my ribs began to line up evenly, my left bottom rib was almost touching my left hip, and there was a significant distance between the left bottom rib and left hip. My body had changed so much in one year that I then needed another brace to allow for further changes to occur.
After my 2nd brace, which Grant made in December 2015, my improvements continued immensely. After about 6 months wearing this 2nd brace, my hips were totally straight, and I was able to stand perfectly straight. My right shoulder no longer caved forward, it was equal to my left shoulder. My right scapula no longer stuck out, it was now flattened. I gained a minimum of one inch in height, and my waist had decreased from 31 inches to 28 inches (with no weight loss). The elongation and shifting of the ribs and hips allowed this to happen. I threw away all of my baggy clothing, because I can now wear tighter fitting clothes.
Now in November of 2018, I just went to San Mateo, CA to have my third brace fitted by Grant Wood. The second brace was no longer able to exert pressure on the convex curves since my body had changed again so very much and therefore I needed this third brace.
Braces for teeth also can straighten adult teeth, and this brace can help to straighten an adult’s spine, in addition to young people. This brace is non-invasive and does work. I consider myself to be very lucky to have found out about the WCR brace and the Schroth breathing techniques and exercises. There is a commitment necessary to wear the brace for the hours per day that Grant recommends. Thank you, Grant Wood and Align Clinic, for providing this brace for those that have scoliosis.
Linda Sheedy | Green Bay, WI
“I want to thank you (Emery) and Dr. Van Saders for prescribing the brace for my scoliosis.
I have had the WCR Brace from Align Clinic for one month and difference is amazing. I can’t wait to put the brace on each day because it puts me my body in a good position and that feels so good. I wear it for about 6 hours a day and the rest of the day my muscles have to do the work to get stronger.
My posture has improved, I’m not taking anything for pain, and the pain in my back is gone. My back used to be sore most of the time and doing things like standing for a long time, vacuuming, and doing our daughter, Sarah’s, lower extremity stretching/PT exercises was very painful.
Now I am able to maintain that position of alignment with the brace on or off and do all of Sarah’s exercises without taking breaks and pain free! I will definitely continue to wear the brace for about 6 hours every day because it has made a big difference in my life.
Thank you so much!”
Diane W. | Minneapolis, MN
“Our journey with scoliosis:
While monitoring our daughter’s scoliosis after diagnosis, we began Schroth Therapy with Beth Janssen in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. The therapy helped our daughter gain an awareness of her spine and alignment, as well as exercises to support this that she will use throughout her life. It helped our daughter immensely, but her scoliosis needed additional treatment and so a brace was prescribed. It was stressful, confusing, and overwhelming to compare the pros and cons of the brace the doctor’s hospital prescribed with the WCR brace or other braces that are available when considering the best option for our daughter.
Compliance was the factor which came to mind upon seeing the hospital’s brace. The brace seemed thicker, rode higher on the torso and, appeared as though it would be difficult to cover with tops or blouses. I was also informed that the hospital brace dealt with other issues, such as kyphosis, etc.
The WCR brace, as would be designed for my daughter, is solely for Scoliosis. It was lower, with more negative space and room for growth, and emphasized de-rotation. Beth, at Scoliosis Rehab, also supported the WCR as well because it works hand in hand with Schroth Therapy. Our doctor would support any decision we made either way.
We also took into consideration location of care – If there were unforeseen problems and the brace needed adjustments, we would need to take our daughter out of school much less time if we used the brace provided through the Minneapolis hospital. She was very concerned about missing school by traveling to Wisconsin or California. We could travel to California directly working with Grant or work with Emery in Wisconsin and have the brace made by Grant.
Our insurance coverage was also an issue. Going with the hospital brace would be an easier insurance option and covered for certain, but we decided no matter what, we would not let that deter us.
With all these factors weighing in, we decided on the WCR brace working with Emery and Grant making the brace in San Mateo. I am so thankful that we did.
To make arrangements, I contacted Jolene and May at Align Clinic, who were so kind, helpful, accommodating and professional. May never gave up on helping us with insurance coverage.
We traveled to Wisconsin, met with Emery, and he scanned and created 3-D imaging, which Grant and his team used to make the brace. Later, the brace arrived in Stevens Point, and we returned there for Emery to fit and customize the brace. He insured that the brace fit properly and worked with our daughter concerning comfort of the brace and padding it where needed. She is now on her second brace because she has grown so much.
Each time she goes for her EOS x-ray, the doctor is so impressed with her dedication in wearing the brace and practicing her Schroth Therapy exercises and best of all with the results.
It is working!!! This combination of WCR and Schroth has stabilized and reduced her curve.
I am so very grateful that we chose the path of Align Clinic, Grant’s WCR Brace, and his team. We are also pleased that Emery and Align now have an office much closer to us in Rochester, MN.
Grant, someday I look forward to meeting you personally. Thank you for helping our Daughter.”
Mom G. | Armstrong Creek, WI
“My 6 year old autistic son got diagnosed with scoliosis in August 2017. By December 2017, he had his WCR brace fitted and is wearing it now.
The orthotist, Emery Maloney, at Align Clinic in Green Bay, Wisconsin was wonderful with my son. He was very patient with him through the molding and fitting process of the brace. He took great care of my son.
He also explained everything to me very clearly and answered all my questions. He and his staff went out of their way to see that our needs were met and did so in a timely, friendly manner.
I would highly recommend going to Align Clinic in Green Bay.”
Qing Z. | Maple Grove, MN
Thanks a lot for your well-made brace and great fitting service, which made the brace so effective and also very comfortable to wear. The great result brought great happiness to my whole family.
I remember clearly how I suffered last year at this time when I knew Jane’s curve progressed to 42 degrees. I almost lost hope, could not sleep for several weeks, and I was afraid of the possible surgery and the endless pain for her whole life.
Our doctor in Gillette suggested the Boston brace that Gillette made, but I didn’t like the result of wearing it. I searched online for several weeks in order to get some new treatment options to avoid the surgery and finally located the WCR brace and Align Clinic.
After that, with Jolene’s kind help, I contacted several patient’s parents of Align Clinic to make sure this was the best treatment for Jane and finally made the decision to go with it. We were really fortunate that we made this decision last year.
Our doctor in Gillette did not recommend the WCR to us at that time. He mentioned that this brace did not show too much difference compared to the traditional Boston brace. However, I can feel that the doctor’s attitude to the WCR brace changed a lot yesterday when he saw the out-of-brace X-ray result of Jane. He encouraged Jane to continue with the new WCR brace and practicing Schroth at the same time.
From my personal experience, I do think that it’s very important for the doctors in hospitals to accept the WCR brace and list it on their treatment list to provide this treatment to the patient. If our doctor provided this treatment option to us in the very beginning, we might have avoided a 2-year CLEAR treatment and stopped Jane’s progress in an earlier stage. Our family would have avoided a lot of suffering from Jane’s progress too.
We found Jane had scoliosis when she was 10, and saw the doctor in Gillette 1 year later when her curve progressed to 23 degrees, but the doctor mentioned that the only treatment was the Boston brace, which can ONLY maintain the curve. In order to reduce her curve, we decided to go with Clear treatment for almost two years before her curve progressed to 42 degrees….
Looking back at our experience of fighting with scoliosis, I feel terrified if I did NOT find the WCR brace last year online. I know that there are many patients and their families who are undergoing the same suffering as we had before. I really hope that they can find this treatment and end the nightmare as soon as possible.
Gay-Lynne A. | Miami, FL
“I am an adult scoliosis patient who was diagnosed at age 11. At that time there were two options: surgery (Harrington rod) or exercise.
My mother was dead set against surgery. I have focused instead upon keeping my spine flexible and strong. I am still opposed to surgery, considering the poor satisfaction rate and the complication rate, so I have opted for Schroth therapy and the WCR brace, which is customized to my curve and which, therefore, helps me remain aware of the areas that need attention.
Years ago I was fitted with a standard TLSO, that was pure misery to wear and far too general to be of much value. Once cinched in to my WCR brace, it became very clear that it was keeping my alignment closer to normal, and the most obvious surprise is that breathing is easy and better and more in keeping with the Schroth approach.
What is also noteworthy is that when I sit with the brace on, my spine does not collapse. This feels very good. I am a spinner (of yarn), so when I sit at the spinning wheel, I often traction my back by pushing up using the arms of my chair. Now the brace does this for me!”
Laurie and Laura T. | New York, NY
“In my experience with Emery, he was so kind and considerate of all my daughter’s needs.
He adjusted our old brace to fit when she is at swim meets so she doesn’t ruin her new one and fit our newest brace. I’m happy to say that the correction in our new brace is great thanks to him and Grant! He takes a lot of time individually adjusting the brace and addresses any concerns you might have.
Anywhere the brace makes you sore, he does the best he can to fix the brace without giving up correction. He is a talented and considerate orthotist and I highly recommend him for anyone in Wisconsin that finds it easier to travel to his office. “