Traditional orthopedic treatment for scoliosis is limited to 3 options. The first for MILD scoliosis is OBSERVATION, which is simply waiting , taking periodic X-rays, and watching scoliosis until it has reached a point where the intervention is necessary. At this point, orthopedic medicine takes takes the next step.
For MODERATE scoliosis the next step is BRACING, which uses various types of restrictive structures on the outside of the body. Since the goal of bracing is only to stabilize the spine, it does not offer any hope of correcting the spine. A brace is to be worn 23 hours each day, and as a result the core muscles of the torso can become weak, causing the curve to become worse once the brace is no longer used. In addition, the trauma of wearing a brace during the middle or high school years may leave psychological scars that can last a lifetime.
The final option for SEVERE scoliosis is SURGERY, which involves the insertion and attachment of metal rods to the spine itself. This solidly fuses the bones of the spine causing permanent disability through loss of spinal motion. The procedure does not guarantee permanent correction, reduced pain or even improved appearance. With surgery the goal is simply to make the spine look straighter on an Xray.