Do I require a surgery for scoliosis?
Q: I am a 27 years old female suffering from severe back pain for the last three weeks. When I consulted a surgeon, she told me that I have scoliosis and the angle is 25-30 degrees. She told me that I need to get a surgery done for this but I am scared to undergo a surgery. Also, I surfed the Internet and got to know that a bend of 25-30 degrees does not require a surgery. Kindly suggest whether or not I need a surgery. Can yoga and exercises treat scoliosis?
A:From your history it appears that you have Idiopathic scoliosis, which means scoliosis for which there is no definite etiology; it is therefore a diagnosis of exclusion. Typically scoliosis stops to progress after one achieves skeletal maturity, which in case of females is around, age 12-13 years. Scoliosis can continue to progress after skeletal maturity in untreated patients, particularly in those with curves measuring >40 degrees at the end of growth. Curves >50 degrees generally progress one degree per year after skeletal maturity. Curves measuring <30 degrees at the end of growth typically do not progress. Most patients with Idiopathic scoliosis have little, if any, functional limitation or pain in adulthood. Back pain is slightly more common than in the general population, but is rarely disabling, and the risk of neuropathy is low. Since your curve is < 30 degrees, the chance that it will progress further is very low. Nevertheless, it is advisable that you consult a spine specialist at least once in a couple of years. You do not require any surgery and simple back stretching and strengthening exercises should be sufficient for the minor backache that you are currently suffering.