What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is the medical term for a sideways curve in one or more segments of the spine and is often accompanied by slight twisting or rotation of the trunk. Scoliosis may go undetected because mild spinal curves aren't immediately visible and the condition rarely causes pain in children. In many cases, treatment isn't necessary, although regular follow-up is wise because spinal curves tend to worsen during periods of rapid growth.
The most common symptom of scoliosis are visible signs, unfortunately the change in spine curvature typically occurs very slowly so it is easy to miss until it becomes severe. Visually, scoliosis may cause the head to appear "off-center" or one hip or shoulder to be higher than the opposite side. You may have a more obvious curve on one side of the rib cage on your back from twisting of the vertebrae and ribs.
How is Scoliosis Diagnosed?
Scoliosis is typically diagnosed by physical examination and through family history. The physical examination involves looking at the curve of the spine from the sides, front and back. You may also be asked to bend and try to touch your toes. This position can make the curve more obvious. Body symmetry and measurements to see if the hips and shoulders are at the same height will also be examined. If scoliosis is suspected it's common to have an MRI to determine how large of a curve is present and help decide what spine treatment, if any, is necessary. Measurements from future visits can be compared to see if the curve is getting worse.
Scoliosis Treatment Options
At our comprehensive spine center we will discuss your options and devise a treatment plan specific to your spinal diagnosis. Since your diagnosis involves the spine, it is strongly recommended that a board certified spine surgeon performs any procedure that may become necessary for treatment. Every physician at our comprehensive spine center is a board certified spinal surgeon such as Dr. Bryan Massoud.
symptoms in both pediatric and adult patients since well-conditioned patients offer experience fewer symptoms.
For scoliosis patients who are experiencing an increase in curvature, minimally invasive procedures can help re-establish spinal alignment and reduce pain. These procedures involve aligning the malformed segments of the spine and bracing them in the correct positions.
A spinal reconstructive procedure has the potential to significantly improve the quality of life for the majority of patients, however, since it involves the spine, it is strongly recommended that a board certified spinal surgeon performs the procedure. Every physician at our comprehensive spine center is a board certified spinal surgeon.
If you need more information about this condition, feel free to visit our spine educational videos page or call us at 877-722-6008 to speak to a spine specialist today.
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