Treatments for scoliosis

The goal of treatment is to stop the progression of the curve and prevent deformity. According to the Scoliosis Research Society, there is no scientific evidence to show that other methods for treating scoliosis – including manipulation, electrical stimulation, and corrective exercise – prevent the progression of the disease. However at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, a multidisciplinary approach is taken and treatment is individualized for your child based upon age, growth, scoliosis curve size, expectations for the course of the condition and the family's opinion or preference.

Common treatments include:

  • Observation and repeated examinations: Observation and repeated examinations may be necessary to determine if the spine is continuing to curve. Progression of the curve depends upon the amount of skeletal growth, or the skeletal maturity of the child. Curve progression slows down or stops after the child reaches puberty. Sometimes physical therapy is included especially if the patient is having pain or the family would like to seek other methods.
  • Bracing: Bracing may be used when the curve measures between 25 to 40 degrees on an X-ray, but skeletal growth remains. The type of brace and the amount of time spent in the brace will depend on your child's condition.
  • Surgery: Surgery may be recommended when the curve measures 50 degrees or more on an X-ray and bracing is not successful in slowing down the progression of the curve.