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Personal stories about surgery for scoliosis

These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.

Linda, age 40: My daughter was diagnosed with a 25-degree spinal curve when she was 16 years old. Tests showed that she was almost done growing and her doctor said it was likely that the curve would not get worse. We were relieved because we didn't want her to have surgery, but, of course, we didn't want her to have problems with her back as she got older.

Marta, age 42: When my daughter was in the sixth grade, I noticed that her clothes seemed to hang unevenly. We looked at her back and saw that her shoulders were not even. Her doctor examined her and took X-rays of her spine. To our shock and surprise, she had a 45-degree spinal curve. Because of her age, the fact that she was just starting her teenage growth spurt, and the size of her spinal curve, it was likely that her spinal curve would get worse. We decided that surgery would provide the best chance for stopping the curve from growing and for stabilizing her spine.

Henri, age 44: I have lived with scoliosis for most of my life. The curve in my back has not gotten any worse in the last 25 years, so I guess it won't now. My mother had scoliosis and had a lot of problems with it. So my doctor just keeps an eye out for any changes.

Sarah, age 28: I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 22 years old. I was lucky enough not to have any problems until recently. But my spinal curve has gotten worse, and now, at 28 years old, my doctor said it is likely that my curve will get so bad that it will eventually affect my breathing. I decided to go ahead and have surgery so that I won't have problems as I get older.

Author Kathe Gallagher, MSW
Editor Kathleen M. Ariss, MS
Associate Editor Denele Ivins
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Thomas S. Renshaw, MD - Orthopedics
Last Updated August 30, 2007

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 30, 2007
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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