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when is scoliosis surgery really neccessary?

Started by simmss on 01/30/2011 8:49pm

Hi, my baby sister was diagnose with scoliosis last year, she 13years old now. The doctors had told us to take her back to them for x rays in a years time and that she should get exercise and eat more foods containing calcium. Now they are telling us that she needs to do surgery! the doctor said that her spine is between 35- 40 degrees and as passed the need for surgery I thought that the recommended surgery was for degrees 45 and over. Im not sure what to do. Is it possible that a chiropractor can help her at this level of degree, or is it too far gone? one of her shoulders are higher than the other and her hips are slightly uneven, she experiences moderate pain occasionally. I have just noticed a bulge in her left side, the side that is being pushed out by the twisting from the right side. is this bad, whats happening to her? Does anyone know of any cases where anyone got paralyzed after they did this surgery? after all this is the spine we are taking about. I need some good information please., it would be well appreciated.

distraught big sister

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PS. the test shows that she as a L5 result what does this mean? also over the one year she did 3 x rays they all show the same L5 result, the doctor did not tell me what it meant he just said- surgery i was so upset i forgot to ask. does this mean that it as less chances of progressing?


Hi Simmss,

A 2008 peer reviewed article in the Journal of Rehabilitation and Disability by Dr. Has Weiss found no evidence for the medical necessity of scoliosis surgery in adolescent patients. He concluded the procedure is entire indicated for cosmetic improvement. In fact, there is very little agreement on what actually constitutes a "severe curve" that warrent surgical intervention.

"no evidence has been found in terms of prospective controlled studies to support surgical intervention from the medical point of view...... Until such evidence exists, there can be no medical indication for surgery. The indications for surgery are limited for cosmetic reasons in severe cases and only if the parent and family agree with this."

Scoliosis surgery should always be a last resort, and even then it is a risky procedure with poor long-term outcomes in a large percentage (as high as 40% in as little as 17 years post op) of cases.

You can find more info about scoliosis surgery on my site. http://www.treatingscoliosis.com/moderate-severe/125.html

I hope this helps you along your way.