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The spine naturally has curves, which help to shape our shoulders and lower back. In some cases, the spine curves more dramatically or at an irregular angle, which can cause discomfort or damage over time. If the spine bends more side to side than outward and inward, this is a condition called scoliosis. On an X-ray, a patient with scoliosis will show a spine with more of an “S” or “C” shape than the straight line of a healthy back. Scoliosis can also affect the waist and hips, which may appear out of alignment if the vertebrae are twisted.
It’s important to note, scoliosis is not the result of bad posture or an injury, and standing straighter cannot treat this issue. Our
For more information about scoliosis, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our spinal surgeons, please contact our office today.
Who gets scoliosis?
Scoliosis is fairly uncommon, affecting around two percent of the population. However, there is a genetic component. You are 20 percent more likely to have this condition if a family member is diagnosed with it. If someone related to you has scoliosis, we recommend scheduling an examination for yourself.
The cause of most cases of scoliosis is “idiopathic,” or unknown. Generally, this condition begins to develop before puberty in middle to late childhood. While scoliosis is more common in girls, boys can also be affected. Scoliosis most commonly occurs in otherwise healthy individuals; however, children with cerebral palsy, muscular
Tips for Parents
Scoliosis is not preventable, but detection and treatment during a child’s growing years is the best way to prevent an existing problem from getting worse.
Idiopathic scoliosis can go unnoticed in a child because it is rarely painful in the formative years. Therefore, parents should watch for the following “tip-offs” of scoliosis development when their child is about 8 years of age:
- Uneven shoulders
- Prominent shoulder blade or shoulder blades
- Uneven waist
- Elevated hips
- Leaning to one side
Some schools sponsor scoliosis screenings. Although only a physician can accurately diagnose scoliosis, school screenings can help alert parents to the presence of its warning signs in their child.
Although less common, scoliosis can also develop in adulthood. In many cases, adult scoliosis is the result of an undiagnosed condition that has progressed, untreated, since childhood. While the spinal curvature may have been mild or moderate at first, the bend can become more pronounced without adequate care.
Another factor that can lead to
Scoliosis in adults can be the cause of considerable pain and debilitation if not treated. In time, this condition can even make breathing difficult. If you are concerned you may have scoliosis, we encourage you to schedule a consultation promptly.
The first step of treatment will be evaluation and diagnosis. When you arrive for your initial consultation, our experienced
Surgical intervention is rarely needed. In most cases, monitoring the child’s spinal curvature for signs of progression may be all that’s necessary. If the curve becomes more severe, an
Other treatment options typically prove ineffective in treating scoliosis. If another physician recommends electrical stimulation, exercise or physical therapy regimens, or manual manipulation, you should know these approaches are unlikely to help.
In cases of severe curvature or where an
Most patients with scoliosis will only require observation with regular examinations during their growing years. The most important factor is
For more information about scoliosis and its treatment, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons, please contact our office today.
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