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Scoliosis & Deformity Surgery


Do I need scoliosis & deformity surgery?

If your curve is greater than 45-50°, it will very likely get worse, even after you are fully grown. This may increase the cosmetic deformity in your back, as well as affect your lung function. Surgery is recommended.

Curves between 40° and 50° in a growing child fall into a grey area — several factors may influence whether surgery is recommended. These should be discussed with your surgeon.

How successful is surgery for scoliosis & deformity?

Spinal fusion is very successful in stopping the curve from growing. Today, doctors are also able to straighten the curve significantly, which improves the patient’s appearance.

How straight will my spine be after surgery?

Because your spinal bones protect your spinal cord, your surgeon will straighten the bones only as far as is safe.

The degree of correction from surgery depends on how flexible your scoliosis is before your operation. In general, the more flexible your curve is, the better the correction from surgery. Your doctor can measure your flexibility before surgery with special x-rays called bending or traction films.

Most patients recover from surgery with curves that have been straightened to less than 25°. In many cases, these small curves are hardly noticeable.

I have back pain associated with my scoliosis & deformity. Will the surgery relieve it?

Immediately after surgery, there will be more pain than before, but this usually resolves over a period of a few weeks to a few months. Most patients report that their back pain is better at 1 year from surgery than it was beforehand.

Everyone — whether there is scoliosis or not — has some back discomfort from time to time. Expecting to never have any future back pain would be unrealistic.