When it comes to braces, the less bulky the better. Let's face it, the last thing a youth or adolescent wants is to have a cumbersome brace protruding through clothing and making them feel or look 'different' from their peers. However, one has to balance this with the requisite that the brace should be effective in holding down curve progression and provide some correction with growth.
Studies have shown that brace compliance is a key factor to bracing success. If your child won't wear the brace due to aesthetic reasons or the fact that he or she simply can't breathe or eat with the brace on, then it'll probably end up in the closet or in their locker at school, hence providing no benefit. Furthermore, few parents will enforce such a regimen in cases where the child is under physical distress due to a poor fitting brace that is painful to wear. A rigid brace can become ineffective within a matter of months for a child going through periods of rapid growth; consequently parents should be on the alert for poor fitting braces that are no longer applying pressure at the right points.
The Cheneau brace, which has been widely used in Europe for a number of years, is now available in North America. However, you may have to look far and wide to find an orthotist or orthopaedist that prescribes this brace. The braces are available through Schroth Centres in North America. The nice thing about the Cheneau brace is that it has huge cutouts front and back to allow for lung and rib cage expansion. The Cheneau Light is even better, for obvious reasons! One study shows excellent results for the Cheneau Light Brace.