The Non-Operative Management of Scoliosis


Brett Rocos, BSc (Hons), MB ChB, MD, FRCS (Tr & Orth),

Paediatric Spine Fellow, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON.


Abstract:Scoliosis is a common condition that every primary care provider will encounter. There are many treatments available in its management, including observation, physical therapy, pain management strategies, casting, bracing and surgery. In this narrative review, the roles of each of the non-operative strategies in managing adult and paediatric scoliosis are explored, and the evidence supporting each is summarised. Scoliosis affects people at every stage of life, and an understanding of the treatments available will aid in counselling patients and making appropriate referrals.
Key Words: Scoliosis, conservative, paediatric, bracing, physiotherapy, alternative therapies, spine cast.

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• Scoliosis is common
• Most patients require observation only
• Patient information is essential
• Casting and bracing have roles in the growing skeleton only
• Physical therapy has limited evidence in both adult and paediatric deformity
• Alternative therapies have no proven use in the management of scoliosis
The majority of patients with scoliosis can be observed
Reliable patient information is critical
There is limited evidence that physiotherapy is effective, and no evidence that alternative therapies are effective in treating scoliosis
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