NewSouth NeuroSpine | Scoliosis

Scoliosis

Scoliosis

What is scoliosis?

Typically scoliosis occurs prior to puberty, and is a sideways curvature of the spine.

While severe cases can be debilitating, most cases of scoliosis are relatively mild and, in fact, may not require treatment when monitored to make sure it doesn't get worse. However, it can require treatment ranging from wearing custom braces to possible surgery.

Causes

Scoliosis is a sideways curving of the spine over time that most often begins during the growth spurt just before puberty. While scoliosis can sometimes be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, most of the time, the cause of scoliosis is unknown.

This condition is an abnormal curvature of the spine. It most often develops in early childhood, just before a child reaches puberty.




Symptoms

Signs of scoliosis may include:

  • Uneven shoulders
  • One shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other
  • Uneven waist
  • One hip higher than the other

As a scoliosis curve gets worsens, the spine can also rotate or twist, in addition to curving side to side. Which causes the ribs on one side of the body to stick out farther than on the other side.

See a doctor if you notice signs or symptoms of scoliosis in your child. Mild curves can develop without the parent or child knowing it because they appear gradually and don't usually cause pain.

Treatment

Individual cases of scoliosis require individual treatment. Some factors your physician may consider:

  • Sex: girls have a much higher risk of scoliosis progression than boys
  • Severity of curve: larger curves are more likely to worsen with time
  • Extent of curve pattern: double curves, sometimes called S-shaped curves, tend to worsen more often than C-shaped curves
  • Location of curve: curves located in the center, or thoracic, section of the spine worsen more often than curves in the upper or lower sections of the spine
  • Maturity: if a child's bones have stopped growing, the risk of curve progression is low. Which also means that braces most affect children whose bones are still growing

Your doctor may prescribe a brace if your child's bones are still growing. A brace won't cure scoliosis or reverse the curve, but it usually prevents further progression. Braces are not valid after the bones have stopped growing.

Severe scoliosis usually progresses over time, so your doctor might suggest scoliosis surgery to reduce the severity of the curve and to prevent it from getting worse. The most common type of scoliosis surgery is called spinal fusion, where the bones of the spine are merged to prevent them from growing independently.

If you would like to learn more about scoliosis or schedule a consultation, request an appointment with NewSouth NeuroSpine. Our experienced physicians are committed to treating the individual.

We treat you like family.