The Center Oregon Explains Surgical Vs. Nonsurgical Options to Treat Scoliosis

Industry: Healthcare

Treatment options vary for the three types of scoliosis in children and adolescents. The Center Oregon explains both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options.

Bend, Oregon (PRUnderground) January 15th, 2020

There are three types of scoliosis that can be diagnosed in children and adolescents. Treatment options vary depending on the patient’s type of scoliosis, its severity, and curve progression. Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type, making up 80-85% of scoliosis cases. The cause of idiopathic scoliosis is unknown, but research has shown genetics play a role in around 30% of patients. Treatment for idiopathic scoliosis generally begins when small curves are first detected in a child’s spine around the age of 10 and up to when he/she is fully grown. There are two other types of scoliosis that are less common; congenital and neuromuscular. Congenital scoliosis can occur if a baby’s spine did not fully form, or if it fused together before birth. Because abnormalities are present at birth, congenital scoliosis is usually diagnosed at a younger age than idiopathic scoliosis. Neuromuscular scoliosis can result in a patient diagnosed with a condition that affects the nerves and muscles. Conditions such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy can cause imbalance and weakness in the muscles that support that spine, leading to scoliosis.  

When treating scoliosis, there are both surgical and nonsurgical options, depending on the patient’s individual case. Children with mild scoliosis typically do not require any treatment and will be monitored closely every four to six months for changes in the curvature of their spine. Bracing is a nonsurgical treatment option that is used to keep the curve from getting larger as the patient’s spine grows. Typically, one out of every six patients show signs of their curve enlarging during a growth spurt. If a patient is showing signs of curve growth, bracing can help keep the spinal curve from growing large enough to require surgery. If it is determined that surgery is needed, a spinal fusion is performed, which realigns and fuses together the curved vertebrae with the intention of them healing into a single, solid bone. Surgeons today are also able to straighten the curve as far as is safe, improving the outward physical appearance of the curve. Surgery is showing to be very successful in halting curve growth and reducing the severity of a curve. 

Experts continue to research scoliosis and its effective treatment options, including Dr. Justin Roth, pediatric orthopedic surgeon for The Center Orthopedics & Neurosurgical Care & Research. Dr. Roth recently presented his research on proximal junctional kyphosis, a poorly understood complication that can develop in adolescents after scoliosis surgery. “It was an honor to be selected as an expert in the field and to present the scoliosis research I conducted with my colleague, Dr. Scott Luhmann, from Washington University in St. Louis, and Shriner’s Hospital in St. Louis,” said Dr. Roth. “Sagittal plane deformity has been a hot topic in scoliosis research for the last few years as we work to understand and minimize the complication of proximal junctional kyphosis. The research provided valuable insight for other providers caring for adolescent patients with scoliosis all over the world.”

There is currently no evidence that alternative scoliosis treatment options have any long-term impact on scoliosis curves. Alternative treatments can include; physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, yoga, massage, Pilates, electrical stimulation, etc. While some of these options can help build strength or help with back pain, you should speak with your spinal orthopedist or neurosurgeon about what option(s) may help supplement your treatment plan. 


Disclaimer: The news site hosting this press release is not associated with Dr. Roth, Dr. Scott Luhmann, The Center Orthopedic & Neurosurgical Care, or Washington University. It is merely publishing a press release announcement submitted by a company, without any stated or implied endorsement of the information, doctor, or service. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before any medical treatment.


About The Center Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Care & Research

The Center is a leader in the diagnosis and treatment of all musculoskeletal conditions, with ten locations throughout Central Oregon. Founded in 1958 as Bend Orthopedic and Fracture, the practice continues to be driven by leading best practice and innovation. With a staff of 23 physicians and 22 mid-level providers, our expertly trained specialists in orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, sports medicine, and occupational medicine, The Center is here to keep our community healthy, active, and strong.

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