For years, whenever I heard anything about scoliosis, I thought about Deenie. Deenie is a book by Judy Blume about a beautiful 13 year old girl who is trying for a modeling career until it's discovered that she has scoliosis. As a result of this curvature of her spine, she must wear a Milwaukee brace going down from her neck to her hips for the rest of high school. This pretty much kills her modeling aspirations. Suddenly, she goes from being the prettiest girl in school to being given permission to take the bus for disabled kids.
This book definitely served to fill me with fear as a child. Every time the pediatrician told me to bend down and touch my toes, I knew what they were looking for. It was terrifying. I didn't want to end up like Deenie. Luckily, I did not have scoliosis and my modeling aspirations were realized. (Not really.)
Anyway, when I was rotating in pediatric orthopedics, we had a 13 year old female patient in our clinic who was absolutely gorgeous. She was so beautiful that the attending felt a need to comment on her looks no less than three times while we were in the room, and once straddled her in a way that was borderline inappropriate to demonstrate her scoliosis to her parents. And she knew she was hot. I could tell by the way she flipped her hair back after she stood up from touching her toes.
You couldn't tell from a few feet away, but she had a 35 degree scoliosis, which is pretty significant. It calls for bracing, especially in a female, where the curve is likely to progress.
But instead of being offered the life-ruining Milwaukee brace, she was given two different options. One was a Boston brace which she could wear 20 hours per day, taking it off only for some sports activities. The other was a Charleston brace, which she could wear just at night, while she slept. The attending said that most girls opted for the night brace.
Both the Boston and the Charleston braces are TLSO's, which only go up to the thoracic spine. The Milwaukee brace is a CTLSO, which goes all the way up to the cervical spine (neck). I had read that the Milwaukee is indicated for curvature at above the T8 level, which our patient's scoliosis most certainly was. So why wasn't she prescribed the Milwaukee?
My attending's answer: "Have you SEEN the Milwaukee brace??"
So apparently, in this day and age, they don't force hot teenager girls to wear cumbersome, life-ruining braces. Too bad Deenie wasn't 13 in the 21st century.