What are the Pros and Cons of Scoliosis Surgery for Adults?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2019
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Scoliosis surgery for adults has many benefits, such as preventing serious health complications which can occur as the condition progresses.Cons include a risk of infection and other issues which can arise with any surgery, such an allergic reaction to anesthesia or nerve damage. Since adults may have more progressed forms of the condition, they may be harder to treat. This will depend on how quickly the spine curves and how severely it turns in the wrong direction.

One of the main benefits of scoliosis surgery for adults is that it helps to prevent serious complications related to a severe curve in the spine. When the curvature reaches reaches a certain point, it can begin to affect the organs, and when it worsens beyond that, serious complications can occur affecting the heart and lungs because the rib cage begins to cave in into the chest and close in on the organs inside. This can eventually lead to heart problems, shortness of breath, and other serious problems.

There are complications in scoliosis surgery for adults, including infection, nerve damage, heart issues, and allergic reactions to anesthesia. The risk of most of these issues will depend on the patient’s individual health, age, and underlying health problems. Younger adults who are otherwise healthy are less likely to have any negative reactions to surgery. Fortunately, more scoliosis surgery is performed while the patient is still young.


Most patients do not suffer from severe complications, and surgery is often successful at preventing additional curving of the spine. The overall effectiveness will depend on how severe the damage is and how long it has been that way, as well as how quickly the curvature occurred. Some with scoliosis experience very gradual worsening while others may progress more quickly. Only a health care professional can determine how soon to perform scoliosis surgery for adults to ensure the best results.

Scoliosis has to be diagnosed with a doctor who will take an X-ray of the spine. Patients may be monitored over time to see how much curve is present and how severely it curves over time. Scoliosis surgery for adults can also help prevent chronic pain which is common among those who do not receive proper treatment. Fortunately, most cases of this condition can be corrected using a brace rather than surgery.



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