Adult scoliosis treatment

Scoliosis treatment through surgery is rarely necessary. The vast majority of patients are able to find effective pain relief through conservative treatments. For example, scoliosis, or the abnormal curvature of the spine, that affects children and teenagers is usually brought on by a growth spurt and often resolves on its own, or with a brace, as the child continues to grow.

Adult-onset scoliosis is a different condition from adolescent scoliosis. It most often occurs gradually due to deterioration of the spine, including the discs and joints. The curvature itself is not necessarily painful, but if it causes compression of the nerves that run in and out of the spine, treatment can be required, such as the conservative and surgical options listed below.

If adult-onset scoliosis is painful

The best scoliosis treatment plan can vary based on the level of discomfort and degree of curvature present. In general, a doctor will periodically monitor the progression of the curve. If you are experiencing pain, nonsurgical approaches are almost always first recommended over the course of several weeks or months. These can include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Physical therapy and low-impact exercises to strengthen the spine
  • Epidural steroid injections to relieve your symptoms
  • A back brace to provide spinal support

If the scoliosis pain worsens

Most adults have success with conservative scoliosis treatment and can have a high quality of life without surgery. However, if several weeks or months of these methods do not bring acceptable levels of relief, surgical options may be considered. The goal of surgery for adult-onset scoliosis is usually to relieve symptoms related to nerve compression instead of correction of the curvature.

With traditional open back surgery, decompressing and/or stabilizing the spine requires large incisions and a long, often painful, recovery period between six months to a year. If the difficulties associated with these procedures concern you, know that there are alternative surgical options. For instance, at Laser Spine Institute, we perform minimally invasive spine surgery that can treat painful symptoms for adults affected by scoliosis.

Our board-certified+ surgeons can perform a lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) to slow the rate of spinal curvature in certain cases. All of our procedures use small incisions and are performed on an outpatient basis, resulting in no hospital stay.^ For more information, contact our dedicated team today.

As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, Laser Spine Institute has performed more than 75,000 patient procedures. To find out if you are a potential candidate for our scoliosis surgery, reach out to us today and ask for a free MRI review.* We can help you regain your quality of life from chronic pain and discomfort.