Being a teenager isn’t easy, and it doesn’t get any easier for teens with medical conditions like spinal scoliosis. Defined as a lateral or rotational curvature of the spine that initially appears in children during the prepubescent ages of 8-13, spinal scoliosis currently affects nearly 7 million Americans, 90% being female.
Many treatments involve cumbersome braces that are difficult to get on and uncomfortable to wear, yet sticking to a brace-wearing regimen is critical to treatment of the condition. For Meredith, an exuberant 13-year-old scoliosis patient, the experience of spinal correction was bulky and inelegant. Her father hoped she could find a better solution, and that’s where the Bespoke team of 3D Systems stepped in with a custom solution that merged design with function.
Each Bespoke brace is fitted to each specific patient and 3D printed in porous patterns that breathe easily, reducing weight, cost and discomfort, and which allow patients to give an aesthetic to their healing. According to Meredith, her new brace “has really changed how I view myself, and how other kids see me. My good friends, who know that I have scoliosis, think my brace is cool. Everybody else doesn’t even know that I’m wearing it because the design makes it invisible even under a shirt.”
To read more about how good design is changing medical outcomes and perspectives, read the full story here.