I first created ‘The Scoliosis Tree’ in 2002. Since then it has evolved into a highly regarded resource for anyone whose life has been touched with Scoliosis, whether directly or indirectly and this website now receives over 10,000 visitors each year.
When I was diagnosed with Scoliosis, 18 years ago, there was almost no patient-friendly information about the condition and what little there was consisted of harrowing accounts of failed spinal surgery and non-surgical treatment solutions, especially effective ones, were almost unheard of.
Thankfully, since then the Internet has become more popular. Now nearly every parent whose child has been diagnosed with Scoliosis gets straight onto the computer to Google the condition as soon as they return from the consultant.
This freedom of information has been crucial in educating scoliosis patients about the choice they are entitled to have regarding their treatment method. ‘Patient Choice’ is the new buzz phrase from the UK’s NHS, but unfortunately Primary Care Trusts are being slow to implement this change. Therefore it is left to patients to take the initiative and find the alternatives available, especially if they are looking to try and avoid major spinal fusion surgery.
The Scoliosis Tree is a medium for reassuring patients and families out there that there is hope after a scoliosis diagnosis and that your choice of treatment options is not just confined to those offered by your orthopaedic consultant. Most orthopaedic surgeons only have the authority to recommend the treatments on offer at their hospital (most often observation, bracing and spinal fusion). They do not have the authority to comment on the non-surgical treatments available at independent clinics; in fact if a doctor knows of a better treatment in the private sector, he is not supposed to tell you about it, on pain of disciplinary action.
Start exploring and take control of choosing the right treatment option for YOUR Scoliosis. I hope that the information presented here goes some way to aiding you in your quest.
Whatever path you choose, surgical or non-surgical, I wish you every success.