Does Scoliosis Mean Surgery?
Your child receives a diagnosis of scoliosis after a routine exam. Naturally you’re concerned – what parent wouldn’t be? But does a scoliosis diagnosis always mean spinal fusion surgery is the only option?
The initial treatment of scoliosis usually focuses on preventing the curve from becoming worse. At this stage, bracing is often the first-line of traditional treatment. If the scoliosis has already progressed beyond a 45° – 50° curve in the spine, a medical doctor will generally recommend spinal fusion. This surgery involves the placement of steel rods, hooks and screws to mechanically straighten the spine; these are then covered with bone fragments that fuse together with the spine.
This surgery has risks and complications. They include bowel problems, infection, neurological complications, collapsed lung, back pain and broken rods. These are sometimes handled with medication or still more surgeries.
In recent years, chiropractic research studies have shown great promise with scoliosis, particularly in children. Post-chiropractic X-rays, when compared to pre-chiropractic X-rays, often demonstrate a sizeable reduction in the degree of curvature, after 12 weeks of chiropractic care, so scoliosis surgery is no longer appropriate.
Many adults and children are becoming increasingly aware of alternatives to the traditional medical treatment of this condition and for good reason… the risks often do not outweigh the benefits!
If you or a loved one is concerned about scoliosis, or needs to be examined to determine whether scoliosis is present, please consider chiropractic as a safer alternative to surgery!