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Scoliosis Resource Centre for Parents

teen site girl back
How to find what you are looking for

The content in this resource centre has been organized to follow the natural course of scoliosis, from the first signs of a problem, to diagnosis, to treatment, to long-term outcomes. This resource centre is written mainly for the parents of teens who have scoliosis requiring surgery. The material in this section has been written in collaboration with members of the Scoliosis Team at The Hospital for Sick Children.

About Scoliosis

This section helps you understand what scoliosis means for your teen's health. It explains what causes scoliosis and what the condition looks like. It goes through some of the emotional issues your teen might face if she has scoliosis. It also addresses whether scoliosis causes pain and whether it will affect your teen’s heart or lungs.

Understanding Diagnosis

This section of the site contains detailed information about how scoliosis is diagnosed. It goes through the physical exam, and the techniques that are used to diagnose the condition. These include X-rays, CT scans, and MRI. It provides a description of the various health care team members who will care for your teen during and after diagnosis. It also describes the process of informed consent, which is required before your teen will go through any procedure or surgery.


This section provides a detailed discussion of the pros and cons of surgery. It goes through the risks and benefits of surgery, and provides a tool to help your teen decide whether surgery is right for her. This section also describes what will happen before, during, and immediately after surgery. There are some frequently asked questions, and some advice on helping your teen cope with surgery.

At Home

This section explains what will happen once your teen is home after the surgery. It goes through the steps to recovery, pain management, your teen’s return to regular activities, and the need for clinic visits. It also discusses some of the complications that may arise after surgery, which you should watch for.

Looking Ahead

This section has information on some of the long-term issues for teens who have chosen to have surgery for their scoliosis, and also for teens who decided not to have surgery. It also goes through some of the research that is going on, to help make scoliosis treatment better in the future.

Please remember that this information should only be used as a guide. Every teen’s situation is unique. If you have specific questions about your own teen's care, please speak to her doctor.

Other parts to this program

If you look to the left hand column of this website, you will see a link to the Teens site. It contains information about scoliosis that your teen will be reviewing. You may wish to look through this information yourself.