When is Scoliosis Best Treated with Surgery?

Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: March 21, 2014

scoliosis surgery in minneapolisWe have already covered scoliosis on this site, but as a quick refresher –

Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves abnormally.

The causes of scoliosis vary greatly from congenital defects (something you are born with), to trauma that impacts the curvature of the spine.  Treatment options for scoliosis are similarly various, and range from non-surgical options to surgery. The decision to move forward with scoliosis correction surgery (or any surgical operation for that matter) is a difficult one. Here we will discuss when surgery makes the most sense in treating scoliosis.

Extent of the Scoliosis

One of the most important aspects of deciding whether or not to move forward with surgery is the extent of the scoliosis itself. All of the following should be taken into account:

  • Lifestyle impact. Is your spine curved to such an extent that it has a negative impact on your lifestyle? Does it prevent you from doing things you would be able to do otherwise?
  • Age. Our spines continue to grow until we reach a certain age.  If your spine is still growing, surgery may not be the best option. On the other hand, if it has stopped growing, there may be no better choice to correct the scoliosis.
  • The Curve itself. Where along your back does the spine curve (upper, middle, or lower spine)? Surgical procedures may be more beneficial in fixing curves in specific regions of the back.

These are all elements that a spine surgeon takes into account when diagnosing and treating a patient with scoliosis.

Depending on your situation, surgery to correct your scoliosis may be the best possible solution for long-term pain relief. Consult with your doctor to learn more about your condition and whether or not a spinal procedure may be the right fit for you.

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