Scoliosis is an abnormal curve in the spine. It causes the spine to curve to one side. It can affect any part of the spine, but the most common regions are at the level of the chest and the lower back.
According to Ortho Doctor in Velachery, a person with scoliosis will have a C- or S-shaped curve in their spine. It is most often diagnosed in childhood or early adolescence. Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but some children develop spine deformities that continue to get more severe as they grow.
It is more common in females than in males. Often, the causes of scoliosis are not known, but an especially severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly.
Symptoms of Scoliosis
Symptoms vary depending on the degree of scoliosis. Common symptoms associated with scoliosis include:
- Uneven shoulders
- One shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other
- Uneven waist and hips
- A rotating spine
- The problem in breathing because of the reduced area in the chest for lungs to expand
- Back pain
Orthopedic Doctor in Chennai suggests if a scoliosis curve gets worse, the spine will also rotate or twist, in addition to curving side to side. This causes the ribs on one side of the body to stick out farther than on the other side.
What causes scoliosis?
The cause of scoliosis often can’t be determined. although it appears to involve hereditary factors because the disorder tends to run in families
Common causes that doctors may identify include:
- Cerebral palsy, a group of nervous system disorders that affect movement, learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking
- Muscular dystrophy, a group of genetic disorders that result in muscle weakness
birth defects that affect an infant’s spinal bones, such as spina bifida
- Spinal injuries or infections
- Birth defects affecting the development of the bones of the spine
- Injuries to or infections of the spine
Most children with scoliosis have mild curves and probably won't need treatment with a brace or surgery.
Treatment depends on numerous factors, the degree of spine curvature being a major one. As per Dr. Phani Kiran S following things are taken into consideration for treatment:
- Your age
- The amount and type of curvature
- The type of scoliosis
- Severity of curve
The primary treatment options are bracing and surgery.
If the patient has moderate scoliosis and the bones are still growing, the doctor may recommend a brace. Braces won’t straighten the spine, but they can prevent the curvature from increasing. Braces are usually worn all the time, even at night. The more hours per day the patient wears the brace, the more effective it tends to be.
This method of treatment is more effective for cases that are detected early. Doctors usually recommend that children wear their braces until they reach adolescence and are no longer growing.
There are two main types of braces:
A thoracolumbosacral orthosis (TLSO) - The TLSO is made of plastic and designed to fit neatly around the body's curves. It is not usually visible under clothing. It’s used to treat lower spine curves and fits around the lower part of the body.
Milwaukee brace - This is a full-torso brace and has a neck ring with rests for the chin and the back of the head. This type of brace is only used when the TLSO is not possible or not effective.
Severe scoliosis typically progresses with time so your doctor might suggest scoliosis surgery to reduce the severity of the spinal curve and to prevent it from getting worse. Spinal fusion is the standard scoliosis surgery.
In spinal fusion, surgeons connect two or more of the bones in the spine (vertebrae) together, so they can't move independently. If the scoliosis is progressing rapidly at a young age, surgeons can install a rod that can adjust in length as the child grows. This growing rod is attached to the top and bottom sections of the spinal curvature.
Complications of spinal surgery may include excessive bleeding, failure to heal, infection, pain or nerve damage. Rarely, the bone fails to heal and another surgery may be needed.