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37 degrees scoliosis
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37 degrees scoliosis

Hi, my name is Kat. I was diagnosed with scoliosis at 11, when I only had 18 degrees. Right now, I'm 18 years old, and I have a 37 degrees curvature on the lumbar area of my spine (to the right). Also, due to my scoliosis, my pelvis is leaned to the rigth. I visited my doctor last and he gave two options, which are  wait and see what happens in a couple of years or to have a surgery in the comming months.

I am not sure if this surgery is necesary or not. I heard that surgery is needed if you have more than 45 degrees. However, he told me that it will be a good time for me to have surgery because I am still very young and he will probably be able to reduce my curvarture by more than 90%. What do you suggest?

Thank you

Kat
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If the curve does not cause you significant pain or interfere with you life, I think you should not have the surgery. I have heard of patients insisting on having the surgery done due to cosmetic reasons, though. I had a 50 degree curve in my toracic spine, and even though I had stopped growing, they expected my curve to progress 1 degree every year, due to gravity. Therefore I had the operation. If yours is not bad enough to become worse with every year, I don't think surgery is very urgent.

Aside from that, looking through several articles, I have noticed that many patients who have lower back pain and opt for the surgery to fuse their lumbar vertebrae have come out of the operation with even more pain. You also must take into consideration the risks involved in surgery. There is a risk of paralysis, infection, and mortality, even though the percentage of these happening are below 1 percent. Also, fusion may not occur, which also causes problems. This is a life changing decision, because once you have it done you can't turn back. Many avenues of life will be out of your reach after this operation, because there will be implants in your back.
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