Surgery is usually reserved for severe cases of scoliosis with a degree of curvature over 40° to 50°.

The goals of surgery are to:

  • Stop the progression of scoliosis
  • Improve cosmetic appearance
  • Prevent further complications, such as eventual pressure on heart and lungs

Many types of techniques can be used for scoliosis. They all have the following in common:

  • Efforts to restore symmetry to the torso and pelvic areas
  • Fusing (permanently joining) the back bones (vertebrae) in the area of the curve
  • Supporting the vertebrae with any of a number of devices, such as steel rods, screws, or hooks

There are two approaches:

  • Posterior—the surgeon enters through the back of the body
  • Anterior—the surgeon enters through the front of the body

Cortel-Dubousset Procedure

This is one of the most common surgeries performed for scoliosis. This type of surgery is a posterior spinal fusion. Entering through the back of the body, the surgeon attaches a metal rod to each side of the spine by using hooks attached to the vertebral bodies. Then, the surgeon fuses the spine with a piece of bone from your hip area (a bone graft). The bone grows in between the vertebrae and holds them together and straight. This process is called a spinal fusion . The metal rods attached to the spine help the backbone remain straight while the spinal fusion takes place.

This operation usually takes several hours and generally requires a hospital stay for a few days after the surgery. A back brace may be necessary immediately following the surgery to support the back while it heals. Children usually return to school within 2-4 weeks and resume normal activities within 4-6 months.