Questions and Answers – Scoliosis Surgery Scoliosis

Why do kids get scoliosis?

The exact cause of scoliosis is still unknown. There has been substantial research into the potential causes of scoliosis, including genetic factors, tissue growth abnormalities, vertebral disorders, and central nervous system problems.

Back to top

What are the goals and expectations of scoliosis surgery?

The goals of scoliosis surgery are to straighten the spine to some degree, to provide a balanced spine, and to achieve a fusion over that area to stop further curvature.

Back to top

How long will the incision be, and what can I expect in terms of scarring?

The incision is just as long as the number of vertebrae that will be fused. Discuss this specifically with the surgeon. The appearance of the scar after scoliosis surgery is very dependent upon how your body heals.

Back to top

Is scoliosis surgery right for you?

If you know that you have scoliosis, there are several things to take into consideration when discussing treatment options with your doctor:

  • Degree and extent of your curve – How severe is your scoliosis and how does it affect your lifestyle?
  • Your spinal maturity – Is your spine still growing and changing?
  • Location of your curve – Do you have a thoracic (upper spine) curve, a thoracolumbar (middle spine) curve or lumbar (lower spine) curve?
  • Potential for progression – Do you have a curve that is likely to worsen?

It is important that you discuss the benefits and risks of scoliosis surgery with your doctor. Only you and your doctor can decide if scoliosis surgery is right for you.

Back to top

I want my rib prominence corrected. How is this done?

Often, the rib prominence is the most cosmetically undesirable part of a scoliotic deformity. The rib prominence is corrected as part of the scoliosis operation. This can be achieved with new technology that derotates the spine. It could also require a procedure called thoracoplasty, where a segment of the rib is removed.

Back to top

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.