I am a 30 year old male with scoliosis. I was first diagnosed when I was about 16, bracing was not done because they thought I was too old. At 19, my curves measured roughly 45 degrees in both thoracic and lumbar regions. My parent's and I decided not to get the surgery because they said I had finished growing and it would probably not progress. Last year I had another x-ray, and measured 55 degrees thoracic and 45 degrees lumbar. So it seems like my thoracic curve is progressing.
I keep reading that people should not have the surgery unless the scoliosis is causing a lot of pain, but it is honestly not causing me a lot of pain. On an average day my pain is a 3 out of 10, on some bad days it can get up to a 5 or 6 out of 10. It does seem like as I age, I get shorter, and the pain slowly gets worse. On the other hand, I have noticed that doing certain stretches and exercises will reduce my pain. So it seems like my pain is manageable, at least for the moment.
On the other hand, I really hate how disfigured I am. My right shoulder is noticeably higher than my left, and my head is more than an inch off center. I actually decided to always wear a shirt in public now, even at beaches, because I think people will notice how disfigured I am. To be honest, I sort of want the surgery just so my body would finally be symmetrical.
I am getting conflicting advice from websites, they say "only get the surgery if you're in a lot of pain" and also say it's recommended for curves over 50 degrees, even in adulthood.
So I guess I am asking you for advice: should I get the surgery for a 55 curve that appears to be progressing, that is not causing a large amount of pain? Do you think I should wait until it starts causing more pain?