Does Scoliosis Automatically Mean Surgery?

A routine school exam reveals your child has scoliosis. Naturally you’re concerned.

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine. About 80% of scoliosis cases are idiopathic. Which means the cause isn’t known. Idiopathic scoliosis may have hereditary factors.

Scoliosis afflicts around 2 to 3 percent of the population. Children aged 10 to 15 are the largest age group. And it seems girls are more affected than boys. While common in this age and gender group, a growing number of adults have scoliosis. This often stems from trauma to the spine followed by years of neglect.

Congenital scoliosis occurs before birth. These deformities are often from partially-formed vertebrae. Or vertebrae that are fused together.

Among children, “wait and see” is often the first-line of traditional treatment. If the scoliosis has progressed beyond a 45° – 50° curve, surgical fusion is often recommended. This surgery involves implanting steel rods, hooks and screws to straighten the spine. These are covered with bone fragments to fuse the metal rods with the spine.

As you can imagine, this is a major surgery with serious risks.

Problems include infection, neurological compromise, collapsed lung and back pain. Some have even reported broken rods. These often require more surgeries.

Recently, studies have shown that chiropractic care holds great promise. Repeated adjustments can help make changes to spinal structures and function. Pre and post X-rays often reveal dramatic changes. Many cases show a significant reduction in the degree of curvature. After 12 weeks of chiropractic care, plans for surgery have often been abandoned.

Many are interested in alternatives to medical treatment. Why? Because natural solutions are less risky and often produce as good or better results.

If you have a loved one with scoliosis, please mention it on your next visit. We’d be happy to share our experience with scoliosis cases. Let’s create a strategy to introduce them to safe and natural chiropractic care.

Sources: Mayo ClinicNational Scoliosis FoundationMedicineNetSpine Health

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