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Scoliosis - Treatment

Treatment & prognosis & Evidence/Road to recovery

Treatment may be simply to assess, review and reassure if the curve is mild and non –progressive. A spinal curve after the age of 8 does not affect internal organs or restrict heart and lung function. Participation in fitness activities and sports should not be restricted at all. A curve in the spine is not a ‘weakness’ and should not be viewed as a disability.

In young people that are still growing the use of a spinal brace may reduce the possibility of the curve getting worse. After spinal growth is complete the clinical effectiveness of a brace is low.

Spinal surgery is a very effective treatment for larger curves, the main advantage is an improvement in body shape and the knowledge that the curve will be stabilised after surgery. The surgery involved in scoliosis correction will vary according to the curve magnitude and the surgical specifics of the spinal curve. Most operations for scoliosis involve correcting the curve (within the limits of safety) and fusing the segment into one rigid bone. This is not a problem when the scoliosis just involves the chest area but can sometimes be a problem when the operation also involves the lower back (lumbar area). The risks of surgery should be carefully explained and balanced against the benefits of surgery. This process of consent is one of shared decision-making between the doctor and the patient and family.
The Patient Line website offers information for patients with spinal conditions:
Sciatica, back pain, spinal stenosis, disc herniation, scoliosis and many other spine conditions explained in a clear reliable, and trustworthy way. Not for profit EUROSPINE experts are here to help patients and their families understand what may be worrying them.

EUROSPINE is a society of spine specialists of various disciplines with a large knowledge of spine pathologies. All well-known and accepted treatment modalities for spine pathologies are represented by the members of the society. However, the Society cannot accept any responsibility for the use of the information provided; the user and their health care professionals must retain responsibility for their health care management.
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page last updated on 11.05.2020