The first step towards decreasing your pain and discomfort is conservative management of pain which refers to non-surgical options. Your doctor may suggest different options customized for you depending on the severity of your curve, impact on day-to-day functioning, your age and other medical conditions. In younger patients with a mild spinal curve, your doctor would recommend a bracing to help the spine grow straight. However, in older patients, the brace would only relieve a little pain but not help correct the deformity.
Physiotherapy has shown to help some patients by strengthen the spine muscles and increase range of motion and balances but for some patients it may make the condition worse. Injection of cortisone or other such drugs into the spine has shown to relieve the pain caused by arthritic changes or mild nerve compression. However, they should only be given once or twice in a year due to the side effects.
If none of these treatments work or if your condition is already too severe, surgical correction would be the best option for you to relieve your pain.
What surgical options do I have?
If all conservative treatments have failed and you are still in excruciating pain, your doctor may decide that surgery is the only option available for you. Dr. Varun Agarwal believes in treating the symptoms of the patient and not just the condition, therefore he like to recommend surgery only when the patient is in unbearable pain.
In the past few decades, surgical treatment of scoliosis and deformity surgery has improved significantly. Earlier methods involved stripping the muscles and ligaments and keeping the tissues retracted throughout the whole procedure. Literature suggests excessive blood loss and more post-operative complications due to this procedure.
Dr. Varun Agarwal is an expert at navigation and minimally invasive surgery for spinal deformity and scoliosis. This type of surgery involves placement of screws in the back of the vertebrae with a rod passing through these screws to allow the spine to straighten and hold it in place.