Pediatric & Adult Scoliosis

What Is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that typically occurs during the growth spurt just before puberty, and is best treated when young.


Most cases of pediatric scoliosis are mild, but some children develop spine deformities that continue to get more severe as they grow.


Adult scoliosis usually is the result of untreated childhood scoliosis, but it also may result from a degenerative joint condition. Symptoms include pain and stiffness in the lower back; numbness, cramping, or shooting pain in the legs; fatigue due to unusual strain on muscles, back, and legs.


Severe scoliosis can be disabling. An especially severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly.

scoliosis, treatment for scoliosis
scoliosis, treatment for scoliosis

Treatment Options

Pediatric Scoliosis


Most children probably won’t need treatment with a brace or surgery because their curves are not significant. However, they may need checkups every four to six months to gauge whether any changes have occurred. If spine curvature is significant, surgery or a brace may be recommended to correct the curve and to keep it from progressing.


Adult Scoliosis


Scoliosis progresses with time, so adults with scoliosis typically have more symptoms than adolescents due to degeneration in discs and joints. However, most adult scoliosis can be managed with simple non-surgical measures that include strengthening exercises, braces, and over-the-counter pain relievers. When surgery is indicated, however, procedures can include:


  • Microdecompression
  • Surgical stabilization
  • Fusion
  • Osteotomy
  • Vertebral column resection




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