How is Scoliosis Treated?
Scoliosis treatment depends on you – your specific physiology and how advanced your case is. The North American Spine medical team and your physician will thoroughly evaluate your situation and recommend a treatment plan to provide both maximum relief and minimum recovery time. Treatment plants are grouped into three categories:
I inherited scoliosis and osteoarthritis from my parents and have suffered the pain and frustration from both most of my adult life. I feel so very blessed to have found this non-invasive option instead of open back surgery.
Let’s Get Started
Symptoms of Scoliosis
The most obvious symptom of scoliosis is curvature in the spine. Scoliosis often first appears during the growth spurts of a person’s teenage years. While scoliosis strikes girls and boys relatively equally, the condition tends to worsen in women in than men. Adult-onset scoliosis is usually a result of the wear-and-tear on the body that comes with age. Even if curvature is not pronounced or even invisible to the naked eye, MRIs and CT-scans can often pick it up. Other symptoms include:
Common symptoms of Scoliosis include:
- Changes in gait when walking
- Reduced range of motion
- Pain at any point in the back or neck
Prior to having a surgical procedure to treat your scoliosis, conservative measures such as physical therapy, chiropractic, and steroid injections should be attempted. If these measures do not meaningfully relieve your pain, a North American Spine procedure may be in order.
Causes of Scoliosis
Scoliosis is typically considered an “idiopathic” disorder, meaning there is no known cause. Genetics certainly play a part, and babies born with the signs of scoliosis are “congenital” cases, but the root cause is still unknown. In general, there are two types of scoliosis: “structural” and “non-structural” scoliosis.
Additional common Scoliosis causes include:
- Structural scoliosis refers to a curve in the spine that is irreversibly rigid.
- Nonstructural scoliosis refers to scoliosis that is secondary to other problems, like the uneven length of the legs, muscular dystrophy, and more.
In scoliosis treatments, your physician will first seek to understand if your scoliosis is due to an underlying cause, and if that cause can be fixed. Non-invasive measures like bracing may be attempted, but some cases will require corrective, or pain-relieving, surgery.
Treatments and Procedures for Scoliosis
Treatment and procedure options for Scoliosis range from conservative options like injections to more intensive procedures like spinal fusions.
Conservative treatment options include nerve root blocks and steroid injections. These are designed to provide temporary relief (up to one year), and you may elect to have the procedure done multiple times. Other conservative strategies may include the placement of a spinal cord stimulator–or STIM–which is designed not to correct the underlying degeneration, but to lessen the pain the condition causes.
Decompression–including North American Spine’s unique IntelliSpine™ procedure–may be used for cases in which the structural integrity of the vertebrae or spinal cord is not threatened. These procedures concentrate on freeing entrapped nerves, typically be enlarging the space through which nerves pass. Depending on the demands of the procedure and your unique physiology, a special surgical laser may be used.
Fusion, also called stabilization, procedures may be used when the stability of the spine or vertebrae are compromised or threatened. In some of these cases, more than one harmful condition may exist. While these procedures are minimally invasive and enjoy a high success rate, some patients may be required to stay overnight for observation.