What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is the side to side curvature of the spine. Every spine has a natural front to back curve. A side to side curve may look like an “S” (double curve) or a “C” (single curve).
Scoliosis is more than just a curve to the side. The scoliotic spine is also twisted or rotated.
What is the cause of scoliosis?
80% of scoliosis cases do not have a cause or they are “idiopathic”.
The most common causes of scoliosis in children are:
- Congenital deformities
- Genetic syndromes
- Neuromuscular problems
- Limb length inequality
- Cerebral Palsy
- Spina Bifida
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy
What are the warning signs of scoliosis?
- Shoulder height difference
- Head is not centered over body
- Hip asymmetry
- Rib cage asymmetry
- Changes in look or textures of the skin overlying the spine ( hairy patches, color changes)
- Leaning of entire body on one side
What are the types of scoliosis?
- Infantile: 3 and under
- Juvenile: 3-9
- Adolescent: 10-18
- Adult: after skeletal maturity
What is the treatment for scoliosis?
- curves under 20 degrees require observation
- x-rays once every 6months until done growing
- curves 25-45 degrees
- prevention of spine curvature worsening
- visits every 6 months to check spine
- brace wear is 20 to 24 hours a day until end of growth
- this is decided by the surgeon
- braces are a custom fit to your body
- a thin shirt can be worn underneath the brace to prevent skin breakdown
- the brace can be hidden under clothes
The type of treatment used will depend upon a variety of factors, including age, gender, degree of curvature, and presence of pain.
What are the long-term effects of scoliosis?
- Back pain
- Cosmetic appearance
- Decreased lung capacity and exercise tolerance