Thoracolumbar scoliosis overview

Thoracolumbar scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that includes the vertebrae of the lower thoracic (mid back) and upper lumbar (lower back) regions. This type of scoliosis is often congenital, which means that it forms during the third to sixth week in utero and is generally detectable at birth. It also can be neuromuscular in nature, meaning that it forms as a secondary result of a condition, such as spina bifida or cerebral palsy. Still, others are affected by this form of curvature as idiopathic scoliosis, for which the cause is unclear.

Treatment for thoracolumbar scoliosis

Treatment for abnormal curvature that encompasses both the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The underlying cause of the curvature
  • The severity of the curvature
  • The presence of other conditions, such as neuromuscular disorders
  • The age and overall health of the patient
  • Whether bodily functions, including breathing, are affected by the curvature
  • The chance that the curvature will progress

People with mild curvature might not require treatment beyond regular monitoring to ensure that the curve is not progressing. Those with more severe curvature might require surgery. Surgery for thoracolumbar scoliosis often takes the form of spinal fusion with instrumentation, which corrects the curvature and stabilizes the affected vertebral segments.

Early diagnosis is key

The earlier thoracolumbar scoliosis is detected, the more likely it will be that a spine specialist can help. Some people find that they can lead perfectly happy, healthy, active lives using physical therapy and other nonsurgical methods of treatment. Every case is different, but the importance of early detection is universally important.

To learn more about thoracolumbar scoliosis, or for information about innovative treatment methods available for adult lumbar scoliosis, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our safer and effective alternatives to traditional open spine surgery.^ Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain.

Our surgeons use a less than 1-inch incision and muscle-sparing techniques in order to alleviate symptoms while resulting in less bleeding and a lower risk of complication compared to traditional open back surgery.^ To find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery, reach out to Laser Spine Institute today and ask for a no-cost MRI review.*