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Going high tech to treat scoliosis

Emma Corral, 8, is modeling, not for a photo shoot, but a back brace at CarePartners in Asheville to treat her scoliosis. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

A young girl's scoliosis was caught much earlier than usual because of an observant mom, and now the condition is being treated with state-of-the-art technology.

Emma Corral, 8, is modeling, not for a photo shoot, but a back brace at CarePartners in Asheville.

"About the age of 6, we noticed one of Emma's shoulder blades was a little higher than the other," Emma's mother, Esmeralda Corral, said.

"Emma had two curves in her spine," explained Jeremy Migner of CarePartners Orthotics and Prosthetics. "She had a thoracic curve and a lumbar curve."

"It was just scoliosis, and she was going to have to get put in a brace -- kind of devastating as a mother," Esmeralda added.

But not for this youngster.

"I was super excited for some reason," Emma recalled.

"The light that comes out of the scanner is not harmful at all. It's the equivalent of a camera flash," said Migner. "Emma got into a bathing suit, and we used our 3-D scanner, which takes pictures and makes a 3-D model in the computer."

A traditional plaster cast in this case is never used. In fact, from the time the scan is finished until the brace is made and delivered, it's typically about two weeks.

"This is going to help my back, and it's going to make my back better and help me," Emma said.

What helps, too, is that she got to select the design for her brace, making it even easier to wear. She wears the brace 23 hours a day.

Even if it doesn't correct the curve, doctors said it should prevent a back surgery.

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