Treatments and Conditions

At the OHSU Spine Center we offer a full range of conservative (non-surgical) and surgical treatment options for children and adults with scoliosis. Our scoliosis doctors will determine the right treatment for you, depending on your age, the type of scoliosis you have, and how long you have been experiencing symptoms.

Pre-treatment plan

Prior to your first appointment, you will need to fill out the OHSU Spine Center's comprehensive health questionnaire. Your answers will give your doctor information about your medical history, previous spinal treatments, the location and severity of your pain, and other details. This information will help your doctor determine which how scoliosis treatments will be most helpful for you.

Conservative (non-surgical) treatment

Some non-surgical scoliosis treatments can help slow the progress of the spinal curve if your body is still growing. Your doctor may recommend a "watch and wait" approach through observation and repeated examinations where the degree of your spinal curve is measured at each follow-up appointment.

Bracing is another non-surgical treatment option for scoliosis if your spine is still growing. The type of back brace and amount of time spent in the brace will depend on the severity of your scoliosis.

Surgical treatment

Surgery may be recommended as treatment for scoliosis if bracing or other conservative treatments do not successfully slow down the progression of the spinal curve. The doctors at the OHSU Spine Center are experts at treating scoliosis and will talk with your about all of your treatment options to determine if surgery is right for you.

If you didn't need scoliosis surgery as a child, you may need it as an adult. This is because the spinal curve can get worse over time and cause pain. If you had surgery as a child, the curve can become worse in the area that was not treated, and you may need a second surgery to correct the new curve.

In scoliosis surgery, surgeons attach tiny metal hooks or screws to the spine and connect those hooks or screws to small rods to straighten the spinal curve.

If you are 50 or older, arthritis in your lower spine can cause scoliosis. This is called degenerative scoliosis and can cause leg pain and sometimes leg weakness. Degenerative scoliosis can be treated several different ways. Spinal fusion, a surgical procedure that helps hold the spine straight, may be used to treat degenerative scoliosis.

We recommend using our self-referral tool to determine the right OHSU Spine Center specialist you should see, or you can call 503 418-9888 to schedule an appointment.