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Once it has been determined that a patient has scoliosis, there are several things to take into consideration when discussing treatment options:

  • Spinal maturity—is the patient’s spine still growing and changing?
  • Degree and extent of curvature—how severe is the curve and how does it affect the patient’s lifestyle?
  • Location of curve—according to the Scoliosis Research Society, thoracic (upper spine) curves are more likely to progress than thoracolumbar (middle spine) or lumbar (lower spine) curves.
  • Potential for progression—patients who have large curves prior to their adolescent growth spurts are more likely to experience curve progression.

After this complex set of variables is analyzed, treatment options are discussed. There are three basic types of treatments for scoliosis: (1) observation, (2) orthopaedic bracing, or (3) surgery.

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