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What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a complicated condition that is often challenging to detect. It is an abnormal curvature of the spine that usually occurs before a child reaches puberty but can also be the result of a neuromuscular condition, birth defect, or an injury to the spine. The symptoms are often mild, causing early detection to be difficult, but efforts have been made to try and catch signs earlier. Scoliosis causes the spine to gradually curve into a ‘C’ or ‘S’ shape and isn’t always painful, but severe scoliosis will cause the spine to twist and can cause back pain.

Genetics may play a role in scoliosis, in fact 30% of patients with Scoliosis have a family history of scoliosis. As the scoliosis curvature progresses there can be changes in the body, including uneven shoulders and hips, and a more prominent shoulder blade than the other. The most severe types of scoliosis can cause the ribcage to become uneven which can cause limited lung function.

Once scoliosis is determined, a few things can be done for treatment depending on the patient’s age. First and foremost, it should be monitored closely by a physician to make sure it isn’t getting worse. An orthopedic brace may be beneficial, and in more severe cases, spinal fusion surgery may be recommended to straighten and stabilize the spine and relieve some pain. The earlier scoliosis is caught and treated, the better the outcome. Make an appointment today with one of our fellowship-trained spine specialists.

 
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