5 Surprising Facts About Adult Scoliosis
You may have more power over adult scoliosis than you think. Doctors can offer you various treatment options, and there are things you can do to help yourself. Here are five things you might be surprised to hear about adult scoliosis.
Surprise #1: If you are diagnosed with scoliosis, you probably won’t need surgery
When diagnosed with scoliosis, many people fear the only course of action will be major surgery.
“Only a small portion of people with scoliosis require major reconstructive surgery,” says spine surgeon Douglas Orr, MD. “Many people with scoliosis can manage their symptoms just fine without any type of surgery.”
In many cases, treatment for scoliosis is aimed at relieving symptoms rather than fixing the curve in the spine.
“Adult scoliosis patients are initially treated as we would treat a patient with a straight spine who has back pain,” Dr. Orr says. Treatment might include physical therapy to strengthen and stabilize the spine. It might also include anti-inflammatory medications or epidural injections to relieve pain.
People who can’t get pain relief from medications or physical therapy might need spinal decompression surgery.
“If you’re considering surgery for scoliosis, talk to your surgeon and find out how many spinal deformity procedures he or she performs each year,” Dr. Orr says. “You want to make sure your surgery is done by someone who specializes in these types of procedures.”