Hello - my 16 year old special needs daughter has had scoliosis since she was 5. Three years watching, three years in the brace, and now three out of the brace. Curve continued to progress through all this and upper curve is now 66 and lower is 58. Ortho recommends surgery and a second opinion at Mayo in Rochester MN concurs. I have been agonizing over this decision whether to proceed with surgery on the "assumption/possiblity" that the curve will keep progressing the rest of her life. The justification for the surgery from the docs is as follows: data shows the curves typically progress in special needs kids and do not stabilize, the concern over the upper curve if it keeps progressing could impair heart and lung functioning, and lastly to prevent back pain and likely disc degeneration/spine issues as she ages. From what I have read on this site the surgery is huge and life/body changing. Difficult enough for a "typical" person who makes the decision for themselves. This is a huge load for me to make this decision for someone else who really will not have much ability to give input on her wishes. There are so many risks. Not to mention her body will be changed forever in its ability to bend. To the people that have had the surgery, do you really feel you are better off for having had it? Most importantly, do you still have pain? Right now she has a little pain but it will just be so distressing if she has more pain afterwards (not counting the pain that I know wil be there during the healing time). What about the ability to continue to do your daily living like bending and tieing your shoes, getting in and out of the shower, dressing yourself, personal care etc. She has finally gotten to the point at 16 with a lot of therapies where she is mostly independent. I just can't have her going backwards and becoming more dependent at this point in her life. Lastly, what about resuming fun activites like swimming, going down waterslides, tubing behind motor boats, horseback riding, riding bikes (all things she gets to do at her Autism Camp each year) long walks, riding the recumbent bike at the health club. Will she need help with all these things whereas now she can do them independently? Her surgery is recommended from T3 to L4. Lastly, if you do recommend surgery, what time of year do you recommend? One person that posted on this site said in the springtime as it is warmer and easier to get outside to walk. A big thank you to anyone who responds. It would be greatly appreciated