Dr. Philip Henkin Explains How Common Scoliosis Surgery Is

Dr. Philip Henkin Explains How Common Scoliosis Surgery Is

Dr.Philip Henkin is a board-certified neurosurgeon who primarily concentrates on diseases of spinal compression. He specialized in complex spinal reconstruction and minimally invasive spine surgery. Dr. Henkin knows that back issues can lead to chronic back pain and many issues, and he is pleased to play a role in helping to treat his patients so they can be free of pain and live normal life. One of the types of conditions that he treats is scoliosis. If you or your child have been diagnosed with scoliosis, you may wonder how common this disease is, how common scoliosis surgery is, and how effective the surgery is. Listen, Dr. Henkin provides you with answers.

How Common is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a condition that makes the spine curve sideways. It is typically diagnosed in adolescents between the ages of 10 and 16 but can be diagnosed sooner or later. However, in most cases, this condition happens during the growth spurt just before puberty hits. This is a condition of the spine that is estimated to affect approximately two to three percent of the population in the United States. While most cases of scoliosis are mild, scoliosis can be severe in some people, even causing disabilities in the most severe cases.

How Common is Scoliosis Surgery?

Scoliosis surgery is not needed for most patients who have scoliosis. It is estimated that about 600,000 new cases of scoliosis are diagnosed each year. Of those cases, it is estimated that approximately 30,000 of those children are fitted with a brace to help prevent the spine from curving any further and from helping straighten the spine. It is estimated that an additional 38,000 patients with scoliosis undergo spinal fusion surgery to help correct scoliosis. As such, just above five percent of the patients that are diagnosed with scoliosis need scoliosis surgery.

Does Scoliosis Surgery Fully Treat and Eliminate Scoliosis?

Dr. Philip Henkin wants to warn parents that scoliosis is not a condition that can be fully treated or eliminated. Once a patient has scoliosis, they will always have scoliosis. However, when scoliosis surgery is done, it does have positive results. It helps to reduce the curvature in the back, helping to minimize the chances of scoliosis causing your child severe pain or leading to disabilities later on in life. The earlier the surgery is done, the better the outcome is. As such, if a doctor recommends that your child have this surgery completed, it is not something you should put off.

Scoliosis is most often caught during annual pediatrician visits. During these visits, you may notice a doctor runs their hand down the spine of your child. This is done to look for any curvatures of the spine. If a doctor suspects or knows that your child has scoliosis, they may refer them out to a back specialist, who may then refer them out to a neurosurgeon, such as Dr.Philip Henkin, if they feel that surgery is warranted.