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Treating Scoliosis

Having scoliosis means that your spine (backbone) curves and twists from side to side instead of growing straight. Your doctor will suggest the best treatment for you based on your age, how much more you are likely to grow, and the size and type of your spinal curve.

Three teenage girls trying on dresses.

How is scoliosis treated?

The three types of treatment for scoliosis are:

  • Observation—Watching a small curve to see if it gets better or worse as you grow.

  • Bracing—Wearing a brace until your spine is fully grown to keep your curve from getting worse. For many teens with scoliosis, wearing a brace is the best treatment. It may also help keep you from needing surgery.

  • Surgery—Operating to correct a very serious curve.

How a brace works

  • A scoliosis brace is made out of plastic and shaped to fit your body. The brace holds your spine in place to keep your curve from getting worse. To do this, you need to wear it almost all the time until you are fully grown.

  • There are several kinds of braces. Your doctor will talk to you about the best one for your type of scoliosis.

  • An orthotist is the person who makes and fits the brace. You will see the orthotist a few times for adjustments before the brace fits you right.

Why wear your brace?

The brace helps keep your scoliosis from getting worse. If your scoliosis does get worse, you may need surgery. Surgery often leaves a big scar. And surgery can be hard to recover from. Also, it may be a long time after surgery before you can go out and be active again.

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