So you have now crossed over the 40-degree threshold into severe scoliosis. Chances are you have watched this progress since you were a small child. Although surgery seems inevitable, I want to let you know there are options! It is never too late to start reducing your scoliosis curve. Below you will find everything you need to know about severe scoliosis and all the options that are available to you.
Severe scoliosis is classified by a curve measuring over 40 degrees in the USA
-Severe Scoliosis has a 90% risk of progression
-Scoliosis curves above 40°
-May have tilted head, uneven shoulders or hips
-Spine may be visualized as a “C” or “S” shape beneath the skin
-Often the torso will rotate, pulling the belly button off center
-Clothing may hang unevenly
-Often have one shoulder blade that is higher than the other and a “rib hump” is prominent.
-May feel fatigued after physical activity, including sitting or standing for long periods
-Often feel clumsy or accident prone
-May become easily winded with physical activity
-May experience pain in spine, most commonly between shoulder blades, at the base of the rib cage and in the low back. Headaches are common
-Often recommended for surgery
-Often have heart and lung issues due to the scoliosis pressing on these organs
Classic Medical Treatment
The most common scoliosis surgery is highly invasive and requires doctors to make a large incision down the back and spread open the ribs. One or more steel rods are inserted, along with pins and pieces of bone to secure the remaining bones and fuse the spine into place in an attempt to prevent it from curving further. It is then followed by a long, painful recovery period that leaves patients with very large scars. A 2002 German study on the long-term quality of life for idiopathic scoliosis patients who had received Harrington instrumentation reported “40% of operated treated patients with idiopathic scoliosis were legally defined as severely handicapped persons”.
And what’s even worse? The scoliosis surgery often leads to complications, and the metal rods themselves can bend or even break! These x-rays show Harrington rods that bent and broke while still inside the patient’s body. Many surgeons will refuse to operate on this condition, leaving the patient with few options to alleviate their pain & suffering.
Scoliosis surgery is one of the longest and most complicated orthopedic surgical procedures performed on children. It is also performed on adults, though not as frequently. When bracing is deemed ineffective or the scoliosis continues to progress after the patient’s growth is complete or after puberty has started, surgery is typically prescribed to stop the curve’s progression. Surgery may even be prescribed sooner if the curve progression rate is rapid during a short period of time. Surgery is typically recommended for adolescents and adults whose growth is complete and whose curve is at least 40 to 50 degrees. Scoliosis surgery is sometimes even suggested for an adult with a curve of less than 40 degrees if the scoliosis brace has failed and they are in a lot of pain.
Below is a video of a corrective surgery for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.
WARNING! This video contains graphic images of surgery!
Post Surgery Scar
Benefits Of Severe Scoliosis Treatment
-Increased lung capacity / more room for organs
-Increased life expectancy
Avoid Spinal Fusion Surgery!
Learn How The Scoliosis Treatment Clinics Corrective Program Can Help You!