Risk of Progression


Risk of Progression

BY Jon W

22 June 2022

Adolescent Scoliosis - LOC can assess the risk of the spinal curvature worsening


If your child has recently been diagnosed with scoliosis, you will naturally want to know whether the curve will get worse particularly if your child has not reached full maturity.

A number of scientific studies have established a risk factor or formula to estimate the risk of scoliosis progression for children with idiopathic scoliosis.

Based on the magnitude of a curve present in a child at a particular stage of skeletal development, we can predict their likelihood of progression. Because every child is different, age does not directly correspond to a given stage of puberty, so one needs to factor in a combination of bone/skeletal age (determined by Risser sign), age, and the Cobb angle of the curve.

LOC can calculate the risk for you if you provide the following information:

  • Age of child
  • Risser Sign (0-5 scale of skeletal age) Risser 0 indicates that there is a significant amount of growth remaining, while Risser 5 indicates skeletal maturity.
  • Cobb angle (the sum of upper and lower end vertebra tilt angles)
  • You can ask your GP or consultant to arrange for the necessary x-rays and measurements/calculations. The European Scanning Centre can also do this for you. They have various locations, and you can book directly with them.

Please send the information to: [email protected], with the subject line: 'Scoliosis risk of progression calculation'

One of our scoliosis clinicians will respond promptly and if it looks like your child does have a significant risk of curve progression, treatment options can be discussed in an initial free virtual assessment. 

  • Please note that this calculation is only an indication and should not be relied upon

Click here for more details about LOC’s non-surgical treatment for scoliosis


Find out more information about the LOC Scoliosis Brace

If you think your child, adolescent or adult family member has scoliosis, you can contact LOC directly to arrange a consultation at one of our scoliosis clinics.

Are you concerned that your child may have scoliosis?


Especially in young people, spotting the early signs of scoliosis is important – as is seeking early treatment. These are the warning signs to look out for:


Visual signs of Scoliosis

Visual signs of Scoliosis

You can find out more about the visual signs of scoliosis here.


The operation used to treat severe scoliosis curves is typically spinal fusion surgery; a major procedure that involves moving muscles and realigning the skeleton into place. The curved, deformed vertebrae are fused together into a single bone, putting metal screws and rods into the spine to help straighten it. Surgery typically lasts between 4 and 8 hours depending on the severity of the curve. Bone graft is then taken from other parts of the body and used to cover the implants.

Following the operation, it is necessary to spend around a week in intensive care before returning home and the first few days are often uncomfortable. Most adolescents can expect to return to school from 2-4 weeks following surgery, but pain medication may be required up to 6 weeks following. A full recovery from the procedure can take up to a year, as it can take that long for the spine to heal fully.

Spinal fusion surgery causes the fused portion of the back to become permanently stiff, as a result, returning to sports that require large amounts of flexibility (ballet, yoga, gymnastics, dance) or contact (rugby, football, karate, hockey) may take longer.

Risks of spinal fusion surgery are like that of any other major procedure and include infection, blood clots and anaesthesia complications. The added risks include permanent nerve damage to the spine and paralysis.