Scoliosis refers to a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt before puberty. Although scoliosis can develop due to conditions like cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of most scoliosis remains unknown.
Most scoliosis cases are mild, but some spine deformities continue to get more severe as the child grows. Severe scoliosis can be disabling and life-threatening too. An abnormal spinal curve reduces the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly.
Children with mild scoliosis are monitored closely, usually X-rays, to see if the curve is worsening. In many cases, no treatment is required. Some children may recover wearing a brace to stop the curve from worsening. Others may need surgery to keep scoliosis from worsening and to straighten the spinal posture.
Types of Scoliosis
Idiopathic Scoliosis: It is the largest scoliosis category, a term used for scoliosis cases with no definite cause. Idiopathic scoliosis is divided into age groups, such as:
After determining the root cause for the condition, doctors report the cause of scoliosis as:
Scoliosis is also categorized as structural or nonstructural. In structural scoliosis, the spine’s curve is caused by a disease, injury, or congenital disability and is permanent.
Nonstructural scoliosis describes temporary curves that doctors can fix via treatment procedures and surgeries.
What are the Scoliosis Symptoms?
Although the symptoms vary from patient to their age group and degree of scoliosis, doctors define the symptoms as follows:
What Causes Scoliosis?
People with a family history of scoliosis are more likely to develop this condition. Women are more likely to have a severe form of scoliosis than men. The cause of scoliosis often can’t be determined, but the common causes that doctors have identified include:
The Diagnosis Procedure
At first, the doctor will conduct a physical exam to determine whether you have developed scoliosis. Some imaging tests may get prescribed to help your doctor get a closer view of your spine. The diagnostic procedure involves the following steps:
Step 1: Physical Examination
Your doctor will observe your back while you stand with your arms straight. They’ll check for spine curvature and whether your shoulders and waist areas are symmetrical. Next, your doctor will ask you to bend forward to find out any curvature formed in your upper and lower back.
Step 2: Imaging Test
Imaging tests your doctor may order to look for scoliosis include:
X-ray: A small amount of radiation pass through your spine to create a clear picture of your spine.
MRI scan: This test includes radio and magnetic waves to get a detailed picture of bones and the tissue surrounding them.
CT scan: During this test, X-rays are taken from various angles to get a 3-D picture of the body.
Bone scan: This test detects a radioactive solution injected into your blood that concentrates in areas of increased circulation, highlighting spinal abnormalities.
The treatment is suggested following various aspects of the human body. Considering the test reports and the case severity, the doctor will suggest one of the following treatment options:
Bracing: A person who has developed scoliosis may need a brace if they’re still growing and the curvature is more than 25 to 40 degrees. Braces won’t straighten the spine, but they help prevent the curvature from getting worse over time. This method of treatment is more effective for cases that are detected early. Those requiring a brace need to wear it 16-23 hours daily until their body owing. A brace’s effectiveness increases with the number of hours they wear it per day. Doctors usually recommend that children wear their braces until they reach adolescence and are no longer growing.
Made of plastic and fitting close to the body, this brace is virtually invisible. It’s used to treat the spine curves.
Surgery: Surgery is often suggested to patients with spinal curves greater than 40. Spinal fusion is a standard scoliosis surgery. In this procedure, the doctor uses the patient’s vertebrae using a bone graft, rods, and screws. The bone graft consists of bone or a material similar to it. The rods keep your spine straight, and the screws hold them in place. Eventually, the bone graft and vertebrae fuse into a single bone.
You can now connect with Dr. Akhil Tawari for more details on spinal disorders, surgery, spine scoliosis treatment in Mumbai, and its cost. Book your appointment today to get a healthy, functional life.