I had harrington rod surgery in 1985 to correct my 45 degree thorasic curve. My rod is approx 7" long. Surprisingly, I have very little restriction. I can golf and bowl (however I may bend a little funny). Another surprise, I am now age 52. With today's technology, I highly recommend the surgery for your son (especially the thorasic curve). I was told by two prominent specialists that my life expectancy would be shortened if I did not have the surgery because the curve would get worse as I age and would restrict my lung capacity and cause heart problems, etc. Good luck.