Archive for the ‘Scoliosis’ Category

Treatment Options for Scoliosis

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

Scoliosis treatment is a subject that has been the cause of great debate for many years; unfortunately, there is not a definitive answer for all cases. The three basic scoliosis treatment options are as follows:

Observation : Patients are observed when the curvature of the spine is minimal (the cutoff is debatable, but depending on the age of the patient, the stage of skeletal development, and symptoms, it is somewhere between 20 and 30 degrees of curvature). Over this cutoff, more aggressive scoliosis treatment is usually pursued. When observed, patients are seen by a spine specialist about every six months until skeletal maturity is reached.

Bracing: Braces will help control any worsening of a spine curvature, but do little to correct an existing deformity. Bracing is most effective for scoliosis treatment when used in children that are rapidly growing and have worsening scoliosis curves.

Surgery : Surgery is often the best options for more severe curves. Depending on the site of the curve and the degree of curvature, the surgeon will fuse vertebrae in a more normal anatomic position.

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Causes of Scoliosis

Monday, June 25th, 2007

In 80 to 85 percent of people, the cause of scoliosis is unknown; this is called idiopathic scoliosis. Before concluding that a person has idiopathic scoliosis, the doctor looks for other possible causes, such as injury or infection. Causes of curves are classified as either nonstructural or structural.

Nonstructural (functional) scoliosis–A structurally normal spine that appears curved. This is a temporary, changing curve. It is caused by an underlying condition such as a difference in leg length, muscle spasms, or inflammatory conditions such as appendicitis. Doctors treat this type of scoliosis by correcting the underlying problem.

Structural scoliosis–A fixed curve that doctors treat case by case. Sometimes structural scoliosis is one part of a syndrome or disease, such as Marfan’s syndrome, an inherited connective tissue disorder. In other cases, it occurs by itself. Structural scoliosis can be caused by neuromuscular diseases (such as cerebral palsy, poliomyelitis, or muscular dystrophy), birth defects (such as hemivertebra, in which one side of a vertebra fails to form normally before birth), injury, certain infections, tumors (such as those caused by neurofibromatosis, a birth defect sometimes associated with benign tumors on the spinal column), metabolic diseases, connective tissue disorders, rheumatic diseases, or unknown factors (idiopathic scoliosis).


Source: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Types of Scoliosis

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Scoliosis may be divided into five principal types:

Idiopathic Scoliosis : This is the most common. The name idiopathic means “the cause is unknown.” Affected children are otherwise healthy and normal. The spine shows no abnormality of the bones themselves on X-rays or by looking at it directly in the operating room. While the overall incidence is equal in girls and boys, progressive or severe idiopathic scoliosis is about six to seven times more frequent in girls than in boys.

Congenital Scoliosis : Congenital means that the child is born with scoliosis, and it is caused by an abnormality of one or more vertebrae. The vertebrae don’t form properly, which can be seen on X-ray and directly in the operating room.

Neuromuscular Scoliosis : This is scoliosis that occurs in children who have a disease of the nervous system, such as cerebral palsy.

Syndromic Scoliosis : This type of scoliosis occurs in children with a syndrome, such as rfan syndrome, or one of the skeletal dysplasias such as achondroplasia.

Postural Scoliosis : Also known as “hysterical scoliosis,” postural scoliosis may be a result of pain, as the child tilts sideways to alleviate the pain. It can be reversed by taking care of the primary problem by relieving the pain or by having the child lie flat. X-rays don’t show any abnormality of the vertebrae.

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What is Scoliosis ??

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007


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All have curves in their spine. These curves round our shoulders and make our lower back curve slightly inward. But some people have spines that also curve from side to side. A scoliosis is a lateral or sideways curve in the spine that is apparent when viewing the spine from behind. On an X-ray, the spine of an individual with scoliosis looks more like an “S” or a “C” than a straight line. Scoliosis may have its onset in infancy but is most frequently seen in adolescence. Also, it is more common in females as compared to men.