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What is scoliosis? 

Your spine, or backbone, runs down your back from the base of the skull. Although everyone’s spine has a slight curve, people with scoliosis have a spine that curves too much from side to side. Instead of running straight down the back, a spine affected by scoliosis may curve in a “C” or an “S” shape. 

What are the common symptoms of scoliosis? 

The main sign of scoliosis is a visible sideways (“lateral”) bend or curve in the spine. Some other signs and symptoms of scoliosis include: 

How is scoliosis diagnosed? 

Scoliosis is generally diagnosed with a physical examination. When appropriate, your physician may also order an X-ray to determine the extent of the curve.  

How is scoliosis treated nonsurgically? 

Many people with scoliosis do not need treatment. They lead normal lives, but the small curve in their spine never goes away.  

What are the surgical treatment options for scoliosis? 

If the spine’s curve is very large, it may become more severe over time. Some severe curves affect the heart and lungs. In these cases, surgery may be considered. 

Spinal Fusion Surgery 

Spinal fusion can address extreme curvature of the spine caused by scoliosis. During this surgery, a vertebral bone is attached, or “fused,” to an adjacent vertebral bone so that they grow together into one long bone. A fusion will reduce freedom of movement in the spine by making the fused vertebral bones immobile, but that immobility prevents the spine from curving further. 

How spine fusion works: 

 More resources on fusion surgery: 

Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive spine expertise 

Summit’s spine care team is recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for the comprehensive expertise of our patient-centered care. Our back specialists diagnose spine problems and design custom treatment plans built on a conservative, nonsurgical approach. Most patients find relief through treatments including guided injections, specialized physical therapy, biofeedback, exercise, activity modification, and medication. When conservative care does not relieve symptoms, our highly skilled surgeons offer proven, evidence-based surgical options. Together with you, we will determine the right course of action. 

Start your journey to a healthy spine. Find your spine expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a spine consultation. 

Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota. 

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