Scoliosis results from an abnormal curvature of the spine. The condition is deemed present when the spine curvature is more than ten degrees. A variety of treatment plans are available, depending on the cause of the condition. Nonsurgical options such as bracing or physical therapy are often a first course of action. If the disease progressively worsens, surgical options may be necessary.
Who Gets Scoliosis?
A common condition, two to three percent of 16 year olds in the U.S. have some degree of scoliosis. Less than 0.1% will require surgery.
Different Types of Scoliosis
Congenital scoliosis happens when individuals are born with a bone defect. Neuromuscular scoliosis can be caused by spina bifida, cerebral palsy, paralysis or other diseases that include abnormalities in the nerve, brain or muscles. Degenerative scoliosis results from trauma to the spine, such as a fall or back surgery, or illnesses such as osteoporosis or bone collapse. In the most common type of the condition, idiopathic scoliosis, the cause is unknown, but evidence suggests the condition might be inherited.
Often presents in adolescents ages 10-16 during their “growth spurts”. It is found more commonly in girls.
Appears in newborns and is less common than idiopathic scoliosis, affecting 1 in 10,000 babies.
Appears most often in adults age 55 or older.
A condition caused by disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and muscular system. may accompany neuropathic and myopathic conditions.
A child may exhibit physical symptoms like an awkward gait, uneven waist and shoulders, or a shoulder blade that sticks out. Often, a pediatrician or parent observes the spinal curves, or it can be detected during a school screening exam. After a physical examination, bend test (in cases where the individual can bend forward), bone exam and X-ray, the diagnosis is made.
Treatment Options for Scoliosis
Adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis should typically see a doctor every four to six months for a physical examination and X-ray. For adolescents whose bones are still growing and who have a spinal curve ranging from 25 to 40 degrees, braces are the preferred treatment. Braces can correct the curve and stop it from progressing. Many children who fail to wear their brace often see the curve return.
For patients whose curvature occurs in the lumbar and thoracic portion of the spine, minimally invasive spinal surgery is an option. Patients return home after a short hospital stay. The minimally invasive surgical incision is small enough to be covered by a Band-Aid. Because the incision is so small and less tissue is cut, patients experience less pain, faster recovery and fewer complications.
Adolescents with spinal curves ranging from 40 to 50 degrees may be candidates for surgery. Although the spine may not be perfectly straight, surgery should prevent the curve from worsening. During the surgery, metal implants stabilize the spine and hold it straight. A bone graft is placed between the vertebrae. As the bone graft heals over the next one to two years, it permanently joins the vertebrae in a spinal fusion.
Advanced Techniques, Faster Recovery
Minimally invasive surgery for degenerative disc disease includes numerous advanced techniques and technologies compared to traditional spine surgery. DISC of Louisiana is a locally owned Orthopaedic Spine Group specializing in the treatment of degenerative disc disease, as well as a wide range of other spinal conditions. Dr. Shamieh and Dr. James specialize in the latest minimally invasive spinal procedures before unavailable here in south Louisiana.
DISC of Louisiana Locations
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