As early as possible after the condition has been diagnosed, the child or teen should be seen by a spine specialist. Treatment is directed at preventing more deformity, using a cast or brace or surgical correction.
Non-operative care, such as back braces, may be helpful in the early stages for a curvature of less than 45 degrees. Curvatures of greater than 45 to 50 degrees must be treated with surgery to keep the heart and lungs working properly over time. Surgical techniques include:
- Minimally invasive correction of scoliosis
- Endoscopic thoracic release
- Spinal fusion with instrumentation
Outcomes will depend on where and how much the spine curves and how old the individual was when the symptoms appeared. The greater the curve, the greater the chance that the curving of the spine will get worse after the person's bones mature.
This condition and its treatment may interfere with a teen's self-image. Wearing a brace may cause self-consciousness. The teen's primary doctor should work with the spine specialist for diagnosis, counseling about treatment options and dealing with adjustment issues.