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How is scoliosis treated in adult women?

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Quick Answer

Scoliosis in adult women and men may be treated with bracing or surgery, according to MedicineNet health experts. Individual treatment plans vary based on the age of the patient and the size, location and severity of the spinal curve, explains WebMD.

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As of 2015, scoliosis affects an estimated five to seven million persons in the United States, according to the American Chiropractic Association. While the most-occurring types of scoliosis are believed to be linked to hereditary factors, less common forms of the condition are linked to spinal injuries, birth defects and certain neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, explains Mayo Clinic.

Milder cases -typically among adolescents and adults with a spinal curve less than 40 degrees- are treated with bracing, according to WebMD. In instances where the curve is more significant, pain prevents the patient from normal daily activities or bracing was not successful, doctors often recommend spinal surgery.

Scoliosis surgery often involves the use of rods in fusing portions of the spine together to help with stabilization and straightening, says WebMD. Since fusion stops growth of the fused part of the spine, fusion surgery is usually only performed on adult patients. While treatments for scoliosis may not permanently straighten the spinal curvature, they do provide some degree of correction and prevent the condition from worsening by permanently joining the vertebrae together.

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