Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common spinal deformity, and the brace treatment is the fundamental therapy. Brace works on the curve via the pressure they exert on the rib cage, usually on three points, to push against the progressive abnormal curvature of the spine and to reduce the local spasticity. Considering the possibility of the spine collapse, due to the six degrees of freedom of each vertebras with respect to the adjacent one, spine needs more thrusts relating to the curvature extension. This paper is focused on an innovative brace working by a three-dimensional thrusts system. The brace is internally covered by air pocket devices. Design and prototype of air pocket device is described. Air pockets apply the necessary corrective thrusts, at many levels of the spine, by compressed air at the specific pressure required in that area of the rib cage. Thrusts can be modified and checked. The design of the brace is presented together with a basic prototype, the design and the prototype of the air pocket device. First experimental tests on a simplified prototype of brace are also described. Finally, a pre-clinical test is performed by a healthy volunteer to validate the new brace concept.
brace design, FEM modelling, pneumatic pad, scoliosis brace
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