Scoliosis is a condition characterized by an abnormal curvature to the spine, in which the vertebrae twist like a bent corkscrew. In less severe cases, scoliosis may cause the bones to twist slightly, making the hips or ribs appear uneven. When this occurs, the problem is more cosmetic and less of a health risk.
Scoliosis does present a health risk if bones are so severely twisted that they compress vital organs, or if the spinal deformity is so severe that spine health and posture is threatened. If this happens, surgery may be necessary. If left untreated, severe cases of scoliosis can shorten a person's life span.
- Deformity in back
The causes of scoliosis are largely unknown, though the condition can generally be categorized in a few different ways. Abnormal spinal curvature can occur in the womb if the bones of the spine form incorrectly or fuse during development, which is called congenital scoliosis. Neuromuscular scoliosis can also occur, which describes spinal curvature caused by diseases like polio, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy or atrophy of the spinal muscles. Degenerative scoliosis, also called adult-onset scoliosis, can occur when the components of the spine begin to collapse. This type of scoliosis can develop in people who had scoliosis earlier in life and are now experiencing a progression of the condition, or it can also develop in adults who have never had scoliosis.
Scoliosis symptoms may also include discomfort caused by associated spinal conditions that have developed. For instance, scoliosis tends to place an increased amount of pressure on the intervertebral discs and facet joints of the spine, which can cause them to degenerate at an accelerated pace. Spinal stenosis, spinal arthritis, degenerative disc disease and pinched nerves are common conditions for someone with scoliosis to develop over the course of his or her life.
Deformity corrected surgically
Safe surgery possible with the help of neuro monitoring
How can I tell if I have scoliosis?
Your doctor will take X-rays of your spine which will reveal whether or not scoliosis is present as well as how severe it may be.
When is scoliosis considered dangerous to my health?
Scoliosis can be life-threatening when bones are so severely twisted that they compress vital organs. Surgery is most likely the best option in such cases. If left untreated, severe cases of scoliosis can shorten a person's life span.
What are some of the nonsurgical ways to treat scoliosis?
There are some nonsurgical ways to treat scoliosis such as physical therapy, exercise, bracing, shoe inserts and medication. However, only a spine surgeon can determine if any of these options might apply to you.