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Treating Scoliosis

Closeup of female's back.

Having scoliosis means that your spine (backbone) curves and twists from side to side instead of growing straight. Your healthcare provider will suggest the best treatment for you based on your age, how much more you are likely to grow, and the size and type of your spinal curve.

How is scoliosis treated?

The three types of treatment for scoliosis are:

  • Observation—Watching a small curve to see if it gets better or worse as you grow.

  • Bracing—Wearing a brace until your spine is fully grown to keep your curve from getting worse. For many teens with scoliosis, wearing a brace is the best treatment. It may also help keep you from needing surgery.

  • Surgery—Operating to correct a very serious curve.

How a brace works

  • A scoliosis brace is made out of plastic and is shaped to fit your body. The brace holds your spine in place to keep your curve from getting worse. To do this, you need to wear it almost all the time until you are fully grown.

  • There are several kinds of braces. Your healthcare provider will talk to you about the best one for your type of scoliosis.

  • An orthotist is the person who makes and fits your brace. You will see the orthotist a few times for adjustments to be sure the brace fits properly.

Why wear your brace?

The brace helps keep your scoliosis from getting worse. If your scoliosis does get worse, you may need surgery. Surgery often leaves a big scar. And surgery can be hard to recover from. Also, it may be months after surgery before you can go out and be active again.

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© 2000-2018 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.