Skip to main content

Early Onset Scoliosis

To Increase Awareness and Education
Our Scoliosis Story
Scoliosis Management
Tips for Parents
Handy ??? for Ortho Visit
Infantile Scoliosis
Juvenile Scoliosis
Adolescent Scoliosis
Case for Early Treatment
TriaC Brace
Cheneau Brace
Night Time Bending Brace
Boston Brace
Milwaukee Brace
Vertebral Stapling
Exercise Treatments
Scoliosis in Athletes
Advances in Screening
           ~ Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis ~



                            Amazing Disappearing Scoliosis:

                       Yes it Can Happen Without Treatment!




In 1998, a large scale study of 85,622 school aged children in Greece was published. The article is entitled:


Assessment ofCurve Progression In Idiopathic Scoliosis: P.N. Soucacos.



This study is interesting because it's referred to by some medical professionals - even in medical textbooks (Spinal Deformities: the Essentials by R.F. Heary and TJ. Albert 2007p 95) - as proof positive that the majority of scoliosis patients do not progress. After all, there was progression in only 14.7% of the patients, with a whopping 27.4% showing spontaneous improvement of 5 degrees or more and 9.5% showing complete curve resolution! We are left to infer that scoliosis is a benign medical condition which left untreated, can for unknown reasons, resolve miraculously without treatment!




What the doctors in "Spinal Deformities: the Essentials" fail to mention is the fact the study was looking at the behavior of small curves in AIS, that were for the most part below 20 degrees and therefore did not require treatment! Yes,1,436 children were identified with scoliosis but curves that were treated with a brace, progressed to surgery or did not meet the criteria, were excluded from the study so that left 839 children that met the parameters for the study! These children were followed over a period of 3.2 years. There were only 102 patients with initial curves above 20 degrees that met the criteria for the study. The 27 children with curves above 30 degrees were seen twice and then eliminated from the study because they required treatment.



Basically,what the study is saying is that curves under 20 degrees for the most part do not progress and some small curves ~ 12 degrees average can spontaneously resolve! Curves under 20 degrees are normally not treated because the chance of progression is something like 15%.





Progression Risk For Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis:





With regards to adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, below is a progression risk chart developed by the Scoliosis Research Society. The chart reflects the probability of progression for untreated scoliosis. Normally children with curves under 20 degrees are not treated because the risk of progression is low but certainly not insignificant when it's your child!




According to some studies, the best that can be hoped for a child with AIS is to maintain pre-brace levels once skeletal maturity is reached and bracing is discontinued (not so with my daughter ---see our scoliosis story)  So why then are parents advised to wait for curves to progress further before commencing treatment???? Also the larger the curve, the less likely bracing will be effective. Personally, if I had a child with AIS and he/she presented with a 23 degree curve, it clearly doesn't make any sense to wait for it to progress to 30 degrees or more before starting treatment! Think about it! Curves at skeletal maturity under 30 degrees generally will not progress into adulthood -- 10% risk according to the chart. If the curve is under 20 degrees at skeletal maturity, the chance of progression is 0 % .




Data generated by the Scoliosis Research Society, Chicago, Illinois,USA



















Correcting Scoliosis during the AIS

Growth Spurt:





Jonathan R. Schiller MD et. al.,. 2009: Brace Management in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis






Hitesh N. Modi, MS,* Seung Woo Suh, MD, PhD, 2009: Drooping of Apical Convex Rib-vertebral Angle in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis of More Than 40 Degrees A Prognostic Factor for Progression





















 The Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to open some documents on this site. (If you have questions about screen reader ability to access PDFs, please visit the Adobe Accessibility Pageor the Adobe Accessibility Blog for more information.)


 (c)2009 - all rights reserved