Spinal fusion surgery for scoliosis also has a long history of complication and failure. The surgery has advanced and yet two thirds of patients have complications. A scoliosis curve isn’t life-threatening and people with a curve often live without pain. American Family Physician has stated that “there is no difference in the prevalence of back pain or mortality between patients with untreated adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and the general population.”
But many patients experience debilitating pain after surgery. A 2002 study shows that 40 percent of patients were considered severely handicapped after surgery. Surgery straightens the spine at the cost of mobility. Your teenager may look straighter and taller after surgery, but have pain and breathing problems that didn’t exist before. Additionally, when two-thirds of the spine is fused, the remaining portion becomes hyper mobile. These areas degenerate much faster and develop issues as your child ages. And yet, doctors are eager to recommend spinal surgery for teenagers younger than 16 who are not done growing.