While scoliosis is not curable, there are several effective methods of treatment. The main goals of scoliosis treatment are to prevent the spinal curve from worsening and/or to correct an existing severe spinal curve. There are several factors that a physician takes into consideration before recommending a treatment plan for patients with scoliosis. Some of these include:
- Sex – Scoliosis in girls tends to progress more than when it occurs in boys.
- Age – Younger children, whose bones will continue to grow rapidly, have a higher risk of progression than more developed children with scoliosis.
- Size and shape of the curve – Larger curves, as well as S-shaped curves, are more likely to worsen over time than smaller or C-shaped curves.
- Location of the curve – Curves in the center (thoracic) area of the spine are at a higher risk for progression than curves in the upper (cervical) or lower (lumbar) spine.
In cases where the potential for the condition to progress is larger, more drastic treatment options are considered. These can include the use of a brace to prevent the condition from getting worse, or surgery if the scoliosis needs to be addressed immediately. Typically, however, surgical options are reserved for instances in which the patient’s bones are done growing. In cases of less severe scoliosis, treatment usually includes routine exams to ensure that the condition is not progressing.
The physicians and surgeons at Tampa General Hospital are able to not only diagnose patients with scoliosis, but also suggest the best treatment plan based on each patient’s individual case.