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Old 12-10-2011, 05:56 PM
Dr Scoliosis Dr Scoliosis is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 187
Default Re: sport and age differences surgery

Thank you for your enquiry. In attempting to phrase answers to your question I am presuming that your daughter has idiopathic scoliosis and the double curve is one where the thoracic curve more or less equals the lumbar curve. That is, the two curves more or less balance each other out and hence, the outward appearances are not overtly abnormal. On the other hand, a 60 degree single thoracic curve high in the thoracic spine can produce a significant cosmetic blemish.

1. What are the implications for sport if having the surgery?

Every surgeon has a different set of rules for the management of sporting activities following spinal fusion. To some extent the restrictions depend upon the extent of the spinal fusion and the number of remaining mobile intervertebral discs in the spine. This is a question you should put to the surgeon. The Dr Scoliosis on duty in a long experience advised against participation in contact/collision/high impact sports following spinal fusion for scoliosis. For example, someone with a spinal fusion may undertake horse riding but would be ill-advised to partake in rodeo riding, buck jumping and steeple chasing. Similarly, many patients with fusion for scoliosis become social skiers but put themselves at risk if they partake in ski acrobatics, ski jumping or ski racing. It is a simple matter of protecting the spine in a sensible way. After a spinal fusion there tends to be an increased stress at the junction of the "stiffened" (fused) section of the spine and the remaining mobile part.

2. What differences, if any, would there be between surgery at 14/15 and at 18 years?

By and large, double curves, which I assume your daughter has, do not have a good prognosis. If she is left untreated until 18 years of age then further progression will have taken place. Double curves of 60 degrees are an indication for correction. The smaller the curve the better the correction, that is, the long-term result.

3. What studies have been done re likely rates of progression?

In the early stages, significant curvatures may not give any pain whatsoever. This is the basis for early detection. Curves of 60 degrees would be expected to progressively deteriorate after skeletal maturity has been reached and the rates of progression tend to differ a little according to the location of the curve. This matter too should be discussed with your surgeon.

I trust this information is helpful.

Dr Scoliosis