Comprehensive Scoliosis Care
for Children and Adults

The ScoliSMART Approach
Length 3:37

At ScoliSMART Clinics, we offer the most comprehensive scoliosis treatment program ever created — available to both children (6-17) and adults (18+) with idiopathic scoliosis. We strive to treat the whole scoliosis condition, not just the curve. For children, this means getting back to being a kid — not a condition. For adults, this means addressing the underlying causes of chronic scoliosis pain.

Get Information About the ScoliSMART Approach

When scoliosis curves are severe, many doctors recommend surgery. But emerging research has led many patients to wonder if spinal fusion surgery is really the best choice.

2-3% of the U.S. population has scoliosis — that's 7 million people! In 80% of cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown.

The infographic below includes statistics on scoliosis fusion surgery, including potential complications, risks, and alternatives.

Scoliosis Fusion Surgery Infographic

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Who's Affected Most?

Scoliosis most often occurs between ages 10-15.
It affects 7 girls for every 1 boy.

What Doctors Typically Recommend

  • 0-10˚ - No scoliosis detected
  • 10-25˚ - Regular observation
  • 25-40˚ - Bracing
  • 50+˚ - Spinal fusion surgery

5-10% of diagnosed scoliosis cases will progress to the surgical threshold.
38,000 patients undergo spinal fusion surgery every year.

What Does Spinal Fusion Entail?

  1. The surgeon dissects 5 layers of spinal muscles, surrounding ligaments and tendons, and the spine's entire posterior joint system
  2. 3-inch screws and hooks are inserted on both sides of the spine at every level
  3. Solid metal rods are run through the hooks on both sides of the spine along the entire length of the curve

Complications of Spinal Fusion Surgery

More than 50% of spinal fusion patients experience long-term complications during their life span.
In one study, 40% of patients were considered severely disabled less than 20 years following fusion surgery.

Risks include:

  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Peripheral nerve deficit

Implant Failure
Spinal fusion implants can:

  • Break
  • Pierce the spinal canal
  • Compress nerve roots

More than 50% of treated patients experience implant failure.

In one study:

  • 21% of adolescent patients required implant removal
  • 22% of patients required a total of 28 additional operations


  • 5-10% of patients develop deep infections a year or more after surgery
  • Some patients develop infections as many as 8 years later.

Loss of Motion
Surgical patients lose 20-60% of their ability to side flex.

Low Back Pain
20-33% of patients experience low back pain within 5-7 years.

Other Spinal Surgery Risks

  • Blindness
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Kidney failure
  • Recurrent meningitis
  • Chronic intermittent vomiting
  • Emotional breakdown
  • Severe blood loss
  • Urinary infections
  • Pancreatitis
  • Obstructive bowel dysfunction

Does Spinal Fusion Work?

An analysis of scoliosis surgery patients found that:

  • 41% felt no reduction in their pain levels
  • 33% lost all correction within 1-10 years
  • 19% required more surgery within 2-8 years
  • 26% were unhappy with the outcome

Alternatives to Scoliosis Surgery

Physical Therapy
A combination of aerobic fitness, weight training and core strengthening can help treat the symptoms of scoliosis, but does not reduce curvature.

ScoliSMART Rehab Programs
Programs include Scoliosis BootCamp, ScoliSMART™ Activity Suit, Small Curve Camp, ScoliSMART Nutrition, and ScoliSMART Pain Management.

Scoliosis Exercises
Scoliosis indicates a breakdown in the brain's ability to regulate posture. Certain exercises can retrain the brain to maintain a more normal posture. 90% of patients who perform exercises wearing a ScoliSMART ScoliSMART™ Activity Suit reduce or stabilize their spinal curves within a year.

Nutritional Support
European studies have linked scoliosis to hormone imbalances. Amino acid supplements can help boost treatment effectiveness.

Additional Reading

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