Congenital scoliosis is a lateral deformity of the spine with a disturbance of the sagittal profile caused by malformations of vertebra and ribs. Typically, early surgical intervention is the suggested treatment (before three-years-old) for young patients with congenital scoliosis. While a previous study was conducted in 2011 to investigate long-term studies supporting the necessity for this recommendation and no evidence was found, this current review, is an updated search for evidence published from 2011 through March 2015. This also failed to find any prospective or randomized controlled studies to support the hypothesis that spinal fusion surgery in patients with congenital scoliosis should be considered as evidence-based treatment. Contradictory results exist on the safety of hemivertebra resection and segmental fusion using pedicle screw fixation. When using the VEPTR (vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib) device, studies show a high rate of complications exist.
It is difficult to predict the final outcome for patients with congenital scoliosis. However, it is possible that many patients with congenital scoliosis may be able to avoid spinal surgery with the application of advanced bracing technology. Therefore, it is only prudent to advocate for conservative management first before spinal surgery is considered.
Keywords: Bracing, congenital scoliosis, conservative treatment, surgery.