Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: 

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis develops in late childhood or adolescence. Instead of growing straight, the spine develops a side-to-side curvature, commonly in the shape of an “S” or “C” with the spine’s bones twisted or rotated slightly. During the adolescent growth spurt, when youngsters rapidly grow, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis develops in the lumbar spine.

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Treatment

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

Pre-requisite to Treatment

The three primary types of treatment for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (observation, bracing, and surgery) are chosen by doctors based on the probability of the curve growing. Patients with curves less than 25º who continue to grow, or curves less than 40º in patients who completed their growth, are usually just observed. Bracing helps patients with curves ranging from 25 to 40 degrees during their growth phase. For patients with curves larger than 45 degrees, we recommend surgery. In addition, surgical treatment falls into two categories.  First, to prevent curve progression, and second to fix an excessive curve.

Treatment Implementation

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) occurs in otherwise healthy adolescents without a known underlying cause. Consequently, the treatment options for AIS depend on the severity of the curvature of the spine, the patient’s age, and the risk of the curvature progressing. The treatment options for AIS include:

  • Observation: In mild cases of AIS, observation, and monitoring by a scoliosis specialist are normally gets recommended, with regular follow-up appointments to monitor the curve’s progression.
  • Bracing: In moderate cases of AIS, doctors will recommend bracing to prevent the curve from worsening. Today, doctors get to choose from several types of braces available, including nighttime braces and full-time braces that get worn for 18 to 20 hours per day.
  • Physical Therapy and Exercises: Doctors will recommend physical therapy and exercises to help manage the symptoms of scoliosis and improve posture and muscle strength.
  • Adult Surgery: In severe cases of AIS, doctors will recommend surgery to correct the curvature of the spine. At this time, spinal fusion surgery appears as the most common type of surgery for scoliosis, which involves fusing the vertebrae together to prevent the curve from worsening.
  • Tether Surgery: This procedure offers a new type of non-evasive surgery for children and adolescents.  In fact, we specialize in this very successful procedure.

The doctors and surgeons at the Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute note that the treatment options for AIS are individualized to each patient, and the doctors and surgeons determine the best course of treatment on the severity of the curvature, the patient’s age, and overall health. Thus, a scoliosis specialist will help determine the best treatment plan for each patient.

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Medical Advice

The majority of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis cases can get treated without surgery.  Patients should schedule regular doctor’s exams. Unquestionably, core-strengthening activities to strengthen the stomach and back will sometimes help stop the curvature from expanding. Therefore, we recommend that our patients keep moving, stay active, stretch and strengthen muscles, maintain good posture, keep a healthy weight, and know which OTC medicines can help manage lumbar pain.

Use of Imaging to Diagnose Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

If your son or daughter complains of pains in the back, symptoms of nerve damage, or a significant disease such as cancer or spinal infection, it’s a good idea to take an imaging test. Also, patients with severe neurologic impairments or signs or symptoms that point to a serious or specific underlying illness should undergo diagnostic imaging for low back pain. More testing does not imply better care in this area. Choosing a selective approach to low back imaging, as proposed by Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute’s low back pain guideline, will improve patient care, reduce costs, and improve outcomes.

When do imaging tests make sense?

The following “red flags” may require imaging:

  • Cancer history
  • Weight loss
  • Recent Infection
  • Lack of control over one’s intestines or bladder
  • Abnormal reflexes, or a decrease of muscle power or sensation in the legs
  • Pain

Patients generally don’t require an imaging test if the above symptoms do not exist.

How Should You Treat Lower Back Pain?

Your doctor can help you figure out the best way to treat your lower back pain. In time, most people recover from back pain in a couple of weeks, and following these simple steps can help:

  • Keep yourself active.
  • Apply moderate heat.
  • Take a look at over-the-counter medications.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Consult with your medical professional.

Medical Advice for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

Lower back pain can often get treated at home by resting, using hot or cold therapy, and taking over-the-counter pain medicines. Good health dictates that when lower back pain does not improve, should get examined by one of our doctors.

Medications for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

Doctors prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like NSAIDs.  These include Aleve, Naprosyn, Advil, and Motrin to stop the pain and discomfort caused by ankylosing spondylitis. These drugs can help with inflammation, pain, and stiffness.

Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute Specializes in helping patients with Scoliosis & Complex Spine Conditions.  

If you think you or a loved one might need surgery to correct scoliosis or any other kind of complex spine surgery, you should contact a surgeon who performs these kinds of complicated and specialized procedures all the time. Finally, the Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute’s board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons, Richard Hostin, MDDevesh Ramnath, MDIshaq Syed, MDShyam Kishan, MD, and Kathryn Wiesman, MD, continue as scoliosis and spine doctors recommended by other doctors. They maintain the highest level of expertise and surgical skills necessary to handle the most complicated cases and achieve successful results.

In fact, they’ve performed more than 16,000 successful spine surgeries.  Significantly, they have also helped more than 100,000 patients get back to living normal, pain-free life.  So, if doctors advised you that nothing can help, please call us at Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute, and we have offices in DallasPlano, and Frisco, Texas.   Finally, with our skills, knowledge, abilities, expertise, and experience, we can offer hope, remove pain, and provide better health.  If you need help, call us for an evaluation at 214-556-0555 or visit our contact page today!


Mayo Clinic. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis  Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Cleveland Clinic. Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis



We’re here to help STOP THE PAIN
If your loved one suffers from Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis or another complex spine condition, hope exists. We can help. Call Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute at 214-556-0555 to make an appointment today.