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Why Does Scoliosis Progress Over Time?

Scoliosis is a degenerative, spinal deformity that progresses over time. While there’s no way to know how fast a patient’s scoliosis will progress, the main trigger is growth. It’s important to realize that scoliosis ranges in severity from one person to the next, as the condition is highly variable. Condition characteristics such as where along the spine the curvature is located, cause (if known), age of patient, and size of curvature all impact a person’s condition and related symptoms. Most important is to determine the size of curvature, also known as the Cobb angle. The Cobb angle tells us, in degrees, if a condition is mild, moderate, or severe. If a patient’s Cobb angle measures at more than 10 degrees, but less than 25, this is classified as mild scoliosis. A patient with a Cobb angle measurement between 25 and 40 degrees is considered moderate scoliosis. Severe scoliosis is the designation given to patients whose Cobb angle measurement is over 40 degrees.

Unfortunately, a scoliosis diagnosis is usually progressive. Left untreated, the degree of curvature is practically guaranteed to get more severe and early intervention is key to treating scoliosis. While there is no way to predict the rate at which scoliosis will progress, it’s most common for adolescents experiencing growth spurts to have the most rapid progression, until they reach skeletal maturity. The best thing to control the condition is to seek active treatment from a spinal specialist who can help you overcome scoliosis either through medical or surgical management.

Treatment Options for Scoliosis

To stay ahead of the condition’s progressive nature, it’s important to start treatment early, as there is a strong correlation between early intervention and treatment success. Left untreated, scoliosis can drastically affect quality of life and cause chronic back pain. In severe cases, it can even lead to lung and heart damage if the rib cage pushes against them unnaturally. Early treatment options often include monitoring and scoliosis-specific bracing, chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, and exercises. If the degree of curvature has progressed to the point where surgical intervention is necessary, your physician will discuss with you the best recommended surgery since there are different approaches.

Comprehensive Spine Institute: A State-of-the-Art Scoliosis Treatment Center

Our spinal surgeons at Comprehensive Spine Institute are skilled at minimally invasive spinal surgery to correct scoliosis. Our modernized surgical center is sterile, clean, and equipped with the most technologically advanced equipment utilized by our highly skilled surgeons. Our surgery center is located on our property.

To learn more about your options for scoliosis correction, please contact our patient care team at Comprehensive Spine Institute by calling (727) 300-2537 to book an appointment.