"I have included this section because I feel it is important that people have the opportunity to become aware and informed about the operation and to understand that when one makes a decision it is vital to research the problems as well as the benefits of a chosen treatment, before undergoing it. Unfortunately surgeons always make known the benefits, but will not divulge the risks unless closely questioned. Therefore I have compiled this article on research I have undertaken myself from various reliable medical sources."
Dangers & Inconvenience
Back operations, especially scoliosis ones, are not to be taken lightly. In fact they are extremely dangerous, carry tremendous risks of paralysis, with inconveniently long recovery periods (quite often interfering with GCSEs and A levels) and will incur you problems for the rest of your life. After the operation it is necessary to lie down, still for a week, while the patient's severe pain is partially lessened by morphine (which on its own carries side effects). There are also risks of becoming ill in hospital, during the recovery period. Most patients have to wear a protective brace for 6 months post-operative and some need to use a wheelchair for a few months - until they learn to walk again. The average operation takes a year to fully recover from, during which time patients quite often feel tired and depressed.
Sometimes another operation (with the same or higher risks) has to be performed in order to remove the metal rods or deal with any internal problems relating to them.
Once a patient has had an operation they can suffer with pain and discomfort after a relatively short time - as little as 3 years. This is most likely to occur in the mobile vertebrae that are left un-pinned by the rods.
Why operations are so popular and why they should not be
So why do the majority of scoliosis suffers still continue to opt for them even when the risk of them going wrong is 1 in every 200 performed, not to mention the problems encountered post-operatively? The answers fall into two categories - those people who do not know/realize that there are alternative treatments on offer and those people who will not investigate other treatment methods because they simply want to be cured by a simple 'pill'.
May I first stress that AN OPERATION IS NOT A CURE, there is no cure for scoliosis, only various methods to help and in some cases (like mine) reduce it. Very few complaints can be cured with the simple 'pill' and scoliosis is not one of them.
The attitude one should have towards their scoliosis
There is no simple way of getting rid of scoliosis, it is something that one has to come to terms with and understand that one must learn to adapt and live with it for the rest of one's life. As soon as you start to deny the existence of your scoliosis you are doing yourself harm. Many people I have known and met, who have had an operation, initially feel proud about their scar and then afterwards go into denial about it, and this is the worst thing they could do, because it decreases their self-awareness of their back and at the same time the ability to pick-up problems stemming from the operation that develop at a later date.