DEAR MAYO CLINIC: How effective is surgery to treat scoliosis in adults? What does the surgery involve?
ANSWER: Fortunately for most adults who have scoliosis, the condition can be successfully managed without surgery. For some who suffer from an overly tilted or arthritic spine, though, surgery can be very effective at relieving symptoms. The surgery is a complex procedure and can include removing some spinal joints and connecting two or more of the bones in the spine together to properly balance the spine and improve quality of life.
Scoliosis is a three-dimensional change in the normal shape of the spine that leads to excessive sideways or forward curves. It most often develops in children during the growth spurt just before puberty. But some adults can suffer from scoliosis, too.