The treatment for scoliosis depends on the age of the patient, the severity of the spine condition, and the cause.
Most patients with idiopathic scoliosis who have a curvature that is less than 25 degrees, don’t need treatment. These patients will simply need to be observed at regular intervals of 4-6 months. Observation involves a physical examination and an X-ray.
“Children whose self-esteem is affected because of scoliosis, may need counselling support in addition to the normal treatment procedures,” says Dr Guo Changming, Senior Consultant, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Singapore General Hospital.
For significant cases of scoliosis, treatment options include:
One drawback of this fusion process for children is that the bones that are joined together stop growing – hence this surgical procedure is used as a last resort for children and adolescents who still have some growth years left.
“Back braces will not help patients with congenital scoliosis or those with neuromuscular scoliosis. Congenital scoliosis is also difficult to treat with surgery and may require multiple operations,” says Dr Guo.