Studies Show the Many Risks of Scoliosis Surgery

Various studies show that surgery is riddled with complications. These risks seem inordinate since surgery does not cure scoliosis, stop its progression or improve functions of the heart and lungs. The following excerpts from various studies fuel our passion for non-surgical treatment.

  • Surgery doesn’t improve breathing function.
    “The correlation between the change in the Cobb angle and the thoracic volume change was poor for both groups (with and without surgery).”
    “Scoliosis curve correction study,” International Orthopedics, 2001
  • Back pain is not eliminated.
    “There was a reduction in the levels of peak and constant pain, but no change in the frequency of peak pain after operation. The number of patients who were pain-free after surgery was not increased. In view of the high rate of complications, the limited gains to be derived from scoliosis surgery should be assessed and clearly explained to patients before the procedure is undertaken.”
    “Results of Surgical Treatment of Adults with Idiopathic Scoliosis,” The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 1987
  • Your child may look better (discounting the scar down the entire back), but at huge risks.
    “Correction of scoliosis surgery is largely an elective cosmetic procedure in the young population, who account for the largest portion of the surgical population. Associated with the correction, however, is a very real possibility of major neurological injury, including paralysis.
    “Scoliosis Surgery: Appropriate Monitoring,” Anesthesiology Clinics of North America, 1997
  • Quality of life is not improved.
    “Forty percent of operated treated patients with idiopathic scoliosis were legally defined as severely handicapped persons” within 17 years of the surgery.
    “Long-term Results of Quality of Life in Patients with Idiopathic Scoliosis after Harrington Instrumentation and their Relevance for Expert Evidence,” Z Orthop Ihre Grenzgeb, 2002
  • Surgery damages psychological health.
    “The psychological health status is significantly impaired.”
    “Quality of Life and Back Pain: Outcome 16.7 Years after Harrington Instrumentation,” Spine: The Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hamm, Germany 2002
  • Many adults with untreated scoliosis are highly-functioning.
    “Untreated adults with scoliosis are productive and functional at a high level at 50-year follow-up. Untreated scoliosis causes little physical impairment other than back pain and cosmetic concerns.”
    “Health and Function of Patients with Untreated Idiopathic Scoliosis: A 50-year Natural History Study,” Journal of the American Medical Association, 2003
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