Scoliosis Treatment


Specialists in Treating Scoliosis

The spine care specialists at Brigham and Women's Hospital have extensive experience in addressing the pain and curvature of the spine associated with everything from the most common to the most severe, complex cases of scoliosis.

What Is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. While most people's spine naturally curves slightly, people with scoliosis have a spine that curves too much so that the spine bends from side to side in an unnatural "C" or "S" shape.

Scoliosis usually appears during preadolescence or adolescence, and is more likely in girls than boys. In most cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown, but it is sometimes hereditary and at other times it is caused by degeneration of the spinal discs, as in arthritis or osteoporosis. While most people with scoliosis do not have symptoms, some may have backaches, may feel tired after sitting or standing for a long time, or may have problems related to uneven hips or shoulders.

How Is Scoliosis Treated?

The goal of scoliosis treatment is to stop the progression of the curve and prevent deformity. Specific treatment options depend on the cause of scoliosis, where the curve is in the spine, how big the curve is, and if the patient's body is still growing.

There are three basic approaches to scoliosis treatment:

  • Observation and repeated examinations. This approach may be taken when the patient has a mild scoliosis (a curve of 25% or less) to see if the patient's spine is continuing to curve
  • Bracing. A brace may be recommended in young patients who have moderate scoliosis (a curve of more than 25%) but whose bodies are still growing
  • Surgery. Surgical scoliosis treatment, including discectomy and spinal fusion, may be recommended for patients who are still growing but whose curvature is severe (a curve of more than 45%) and bracing has not been successful in slowing the progression of the curve

Why Choose Brigham and Women’s Hospital

The spine specialists at Brigham and Women's Hospital provide a wide array of medical and surgical treatment for patients with spine disorders, including scoliosis treatment. Our spine team includes spine surgeons, spine physiatrists, and pain management specialists who accurately diagnose patients and provide a complete range of surgical and non-surgical treatment options. We also provide comprehensive treatment for patients whose diseases cause spinal instability, spinal cord compression, curvatures, and bony disruptions, including rheumatoid arthritis treatment and osteoporosis treatment.

Minimally invasive surgical techniques, while not possible for all spine conditions, may be an option for many patients, even those who need scoliosis treatment. Our spine surgeons are expert at performing minimally invasive spine surgery, which uses smaller incisions and results in lower risk of infection, less blood loss, and faster recovery times.

As a patient at Brigham and Women's Hospital, you can count on:

  • Access to a dedicated and nationally recognized team of neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and specialists in pain management and physical medicine
  • A comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and treatment of scoliosis, including an evaluation of nonsurgical options as well as surgical approaches such as spinal fusion and discectomy
  • Compassionate, thorough, and individualized care from a team of internationally recognized spine surgeons, all of whom are highly skilled in the latest surgical techniques—including minimally invasive options such as oblique lumbar interbody fusion
  • Access to our Adult Spinal Deformity and Scoliosis Program, offering patients clinical expertise and innovative treatment approaches for the most complex and severe cases
  • A team dedicated to conducting cutting-edge research for disorders, injuries, and treatments involving the spine

Learn more about Brigham and Women's Hospital

For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

About BWH