Scoliosis Surgery

When is Scoliosis Surgery Required?

There are certain situations when a patient may require scoliosis surgery, such as progression of a curve to a severe degree (>50 degrees) and/or heart/lung dysfunction. Ethically, it is our responsibility to inform you when a surgical consultation may be required.

With a surgical consultation, the surgeon may require patients to have further testing, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a computerized tomography (CT) scan. If surgery is decided as the best option for the patient, we recommend an open discussion with your surgeon to ask all the questions needed to make an informed decision.

In many cases, scoliosis surgery will stop spinal growth, however, there are specific cases where non-surgical treatment can be used to delay or prevent surgery until a child has fully grown. This will need to be discussed with your scoliosis practitioner.

Research has shown that scoliosis bracing can be effective in preventing progressive curves in adolescent patients. The New England Journal of Medicine stated “Bracing significantly decreased the progression of high-risk curves to the threshold for surgery in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The benefit increased with longer hours of brace wear.”