Scoliosis is the curving or rotating of a spine that makes the spine look like an S or a C. As they are attached to the spine, this also causes the ribcage to be out of position, causing pain and discomfort.
This primarily results in a rib hump which is noticeable as a person with scoliosis is usually bent forward with one side of the back looking more protruded than the other.
People with scoliosis also notice that their chest size, breast size, shoulders, and waist look uneven as they grow older. This curve in the spine usually increases with age, and curves greater than 70° affect the breathing of the scoliosis bearer.
Causes of Scoliosis
Scoliosis can be congenital, develop during childhood or become degenerative as a person grows older. Hormones may be a factor for scoliosis as young women are more likely to develop scoliosis than young men. Other causes of scoliosis include;
- nerve tension,
- spine degeneration,
- muscular dystrophy,
- tumors which develop near the spine,
- down’s syndrome,
- cerebral palsy,
- Marfan syndrome and even aging
Diagnosis and Treatment of Scoliosis
Scoliosis is mainly diagnosed by analyzing the symmetry of the pelvis, back, and shoulder based on x-ray findings of a 10° level of curvature of the spine.
In recommending treatments for scoliosis, doctors have to consider the size and type of curve, how much growing a patient still has to do, and the presence of any other medical conditions the patient might have.
Sometimes, for patients with mild forms of scoliosis, no treatment is necessary. Hence, doctors recommend physical therapy, massage, exercises, acupuncture, and chiropractic care to help with back pain, augment core strength and improve flexibility. However, these practices cannot prevent the curve’s progression or improve the curve.
If the curve is between 20° to 40°, bracing will be recommended for children who are still growing. This bracing causes no restriction on movement and can be taken off for hygiene. It is important to note that wearing a brace will not make the curve smaller. It will only prevent the curve from progressing or getting bigger. As the curve becomes more severe, surgery will be recommended for the patient.
Scoliosis Surgical Process
Scoliosis surgery involves the surgeon using screws and rods to straighten the spine and hold the spine in place until a solid bridge of bone forms. The surgeon will first have to remove the facet joints to free up the spine and know where to place the screws. Then, a pedicle screw is inserted into the bone. These pedicle screws will stay safely in the bone of each vertebra. After the pedicle screws are all in, a straight metal rod is fed into each screw head. The pedicle screws and the straight rod straighten the spine, correcting scoliosis carefully.
Scoliosis surgery is by far the best treatment to improve and stabilize scoliosis, as patients who undergo scoliosis surgery can go back to regular activities in no time.
If you or a loved one have scoliosis, it is best to consult medical help to manage the pain. At Lakeshore Pain and Spine Center, we offer a holistic treatment approach that caters specifically to each client. We can help you live a full life again. Please schedule an appointment with us today.