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Scoliosis in Teens

We have been answering many questions on the group about scoliosis in teens, to help those that have no experience with the condition, scolisois.

You need to see a scoliosis specialist if you're not doing that already. A doctor that is not trained as a scoliosis specialist doesn't have the expertise to treat it.

Your scoliosis can be either caused by something else like maybe your legs have uneven lengths. Scoliosis can also be idiopathic, which means that it has an unknown cause.

Any curve under 10 degrees is considered normal and probably isn't monitored.

Curves from 10-25 degrees are mild but should be monitored, especially if you're still growing.

Curves from 25-40 degrees are moderate with bracing possible. You will need monitoring, especially if you're still growing.

Surgery may be recommended if your curve doesn't respond to bracing. Bracing will do no good if you're through growing. The purpose of a brace isn't to make your curve better, but rather to keep the curve from becoming worse.

Curves greater than 45 degrees is major. Surgery may be recommended. This depends on many things, but whether you're done growing, whether your curve is increasing, whether your heart and lungs are in danger of being squeezed by your curve, whether you're in pain, quality of life, etc.

Unfortunately, nothing can *fix* idiopathic scoliosis. Surgery can keep the curve from getting worse, and in most cases, will reduce the curve but most likely your spine won't be straight (unless you are very flexible in the area to be fused, then you might be lucky).

There are cases where the surgery is less invasive than other cases, but having the usual posterior incision isn't too bad.

Chiropractors, message therapists, acupuncturists, etc., also can't fix idiopathic scoliosis. These people adjust the soft, connective tissues and that may (or may not, you can't tell ahead of time) make you feel better, but remember, idiopathic scoliosis is not a connective tissue disease. Your spine is growing curved.