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What Are My Treatment Options?
The treatment options for scoliosis fall into three main categories: observation of the scoliosis, nonoperative treatment and surgical treatment.
This is for curves that have a small degree measurement when you are growing (adolescent scoliosis), or for moderate size curves (< 40-45 degrees) when you are done growing. For adults, observation and physical therapy are for those patients who have mild symptoms and have curves which are not large.
This is for curves between 25 and 45 degrees in growing children to prevent further progression of the curve while growth of the spine remains. The goal of bracing is to prevent further progression since the brace cannot correct curves.
- Surgical treatment:
This reserved for curves which are generally greater than 50 degrees for adolescent patients and adults. Surgery can be performed for smaller curves if the appearance of the curvature is bothersome to the patient or if symptoms are associated with the scoliosis in the adult patient. The goals of surgical treatment are to obtain curve correction and to prevent curve progression. This is generally achieved by placing metal implants onto the spine which are then attached to rods which correct the spine curvature and hold it in the corrected position until fusion, or knitting of the spine elements together.