Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)
Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)
An International Organization Dedicated to the Education, Research and Treatment of Spinal Deformity
Our Mission is to Foster Optimal Care for All Patients with Spinal Deformities
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What Are My Treatment Options?

Posterior Approach
Posterior Approach
Anterior Approach
Anterior Approach

Surgical Treatment

Surgical treatment is used for patients whose curves are greater than 45º while still growing or greater than 50 º when growth has stopped. The goal of surgical treatment is two-fold: First, to prevent curve progression and secondly to obtain some curve correction. Surgical treatment today utilizes metal implants which are attached to the spine, and then connected to a single rod or two rods. Implants are used to correct the spine and hold the spine in the corrected position until the spine segments which have been operated on are fused as one bone. The surgery can be performed from the back of the spine (posterior approach) through a straight incision along the midline of the back or through the front of the spine (anterior approach). Although there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, the posterior approach is utilized most often in the treatment of AIS and can be utilized for all curve types. The anterior approach is an option when a single thoracic curve or a single lumbar curve is being treated. Many factors go into the decision as to the surgical approach and your doctor will review the options and choose the best approach for you.

Following surgical treatment, no external bracing or casts are used. The hospital stay is generally between 5 and 7 days. The patient can perform regular daily activities and generally returns to school in 3-4 weeks. Depending on the activities of the patient, full participation is allowed between 3 and 6 months after surgery.

These three treatment methods are well accepted and well studied. Alternative treatments to prevent curve progression or prevent further curve progression such as chiropractic medicine, physical therapy, yoga, etc. have not demonstrated any scientific value in the treatment of scoliosis. However, these and other methods can be utilized if they provide some physical benefit to the patient such as core strengthening, symptom relief, etc. These should not, however, be utilized to formally treat the curvature in hopes of improving the scoliosis.

Congenital Scoliosis
Early Onset Scoliosis
About Early Onset Scoliosis
Infantile Idiopathic Scoliosis
Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome
Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis
Idiopathic Scoliosis