Elizabeth Taylor had scoliosis and suffered back problems all her life. In October 2004 she underwent spinal surgery to repair seven compression fractures in her spine.
“My body’s a real mess,” she stated in a 2004 interview at the age of 72. “I’ve become one of those poor little women who’s bent sideways. I feel so stupid and feeble that I can’t do the work I was meant to do because of my bloody body.”
The condition caused her constant pain and confined her to a wheelchair.
In 2010 she refused to undergo any further surgeries despite crippling neck pain. At 78 she reportedly felt too weak to have any more operations. She had been hospitalized more than 100 times in the last 25 years due to back problems.
It was said that she spent most days sitting with her head slumped on her shoulder because it was the only position she felt at all comfortable in due to acute neck pain.
Elizabeth Taylor passed away on March 23, 2011 from congestive heart failure.
While by far the majority of adolescent scoliosis sufferers do not experience much pain, the large majority of them will experience pain and disability when they enter middle age. The preferred option is to correct the scoliosis while it is smaller and the patient is younger.
In middle age, the correction that can be achieved will be limited by degenerative changes (arthritis) in the spine. The first priority is always to eliminate pain, then stop progression of the curve, and ultimately (to a more limited extent than in an adolescent) reduce the size of the curve.
If you are middle-aged do not give up! We can eliminate and prevent pain recurrence and reduce the curve size (in most cases!).