Understanding Scoliosis Surgery for Adults

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465322827Scoliosis, or the abnormal curvature of the spine, is a condition that can occur in both children and adults, and symptoms can range from very mild to severe. When adults are diagnosed with scoliosis, it’s known as degenerative scoliosis, which can occur because of an injury, major surgery or osteoporosis. Sometimes, mild scoliosis symptoms in childhood can worsen over time into adulthood.

If you’re struggling with adult scoliosis, here’s what you need to know about scoliosis surgery and nonsurgical treatment options.

What Is Scoliosis Surgery?

Depending on your age, family history and the type and severity of your scoliosis, your doctor may recommend a specific surgical approach. These can include:

  • Pedicle subtraction osteotomy, in which a section of the pedicle—a small bony tube—is removed from the vertebrae.
  • Flatback syndrome correction, a surgical procedure to correct a spine that is too straight rather than being properly curved for normal, healthy function.
  • Laminectomy, which removes the lamina in the lower back or neck to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

There are also several minimally invasive procedures such as Lateral XLIF and MIS instrumentation that require shorter hospital stays, quicker recoveries and fewer complications. Severe cases of scoliosis may require more extensive surgery, however.

Scoliosis surgery is not necessary to treat every case, especially those with only mild symptoms.

Are Nonsurgical Options Available?

There are many nonsurgical options that can help to reduce back pain, including injection therapy, over-the-counter pain medications and lifestyle changes.

If you’re considering scoliosis surgery or nonsurgical treatment for upper or lower back pain, be sure to talk with an orthopedic specialist who can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend the most appropriate treatment methods for you.