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Abnormal Spine Curvature Conditions

Meaning of scoliosis​

Scoliosis is a disorder that causes an abnormal curve of the spine, or backbone.

There is a normal spinal curve when looking from the side, but the spine should appear straight when looking from the front.

 Kyphosis is a curve in the spine seen from the side in which the spine is bent forward. There is a normal kyphosis in the            middle (thoracic) spine.

Lordosis is a curve seen from the side in which the spine is bent backward. There is a normal lordosis in the upper (cervical) spine and the lower spine or lumbar spine. People with scoliosis develop additional curves to either side of the body, and the bones of the spine twist on each other, forming a C or an S-shaped or scoliosis curve in the spine. Scoliosis ranges from 10-20 degrees (mild), 20-50 degrees (moderate), and severe (greater than 50 degrees).

Scoliosis is about two times more common in girls than boys. It can be seen at any age, but it is most common in those over about 10 years of age. Scoliosis is hereditary in that people with scoliosis are more likely to have children with scoliosis; however, there is no correlation between the severity of the curves from one generation to the next.

Scoliosis facts

  • Scoliosis is an abnormal curve in the spine.

  • There are several types of scoliosis based on the cause and age when the curve develops; the majority of patients have no known cause.

  • The most common symptom of scoliosis is the curvature of the spine.

  • Scoliosis risk factors include age (9- to 15-year-olds), female sex, and family history.

  • Diagnosis is done by the physical exam and by imaging techniques such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI.

  • Depending on the severity of the curve and the risk for it getting worse, scoliosis can be treated with observation, bracing, or surgery.

  • Orthopedic surgeons or neurosurgeons are often consulted if surgery is needed.

  • The prognosis for an individual with scoliosis ranges from mainly good to fair, depending on how early the problem is diagnosed and treated.

  • There is no cure for scoliosis, but the symptoms can be reduced.

Scoliosis Treatment & Surgery

Spinal Fusion

Lumbar spinal fusion is an operation that causes the vertebrae (bones of the spine) in the lower back to grow together. The goal of the lumbar fusion is to have the two vertebrae fuse (grow solidly together) so that there is no longer any motion between them. Removing the intervertebral disc (cushion between the bones) or bone spurs can reduce some of the pressure on the nerves, helping to reduce pain. Additionally, by fusing the two vertebrae together, may stop the formation of bone spurs at that location, further reducing pain and potential nerve injury.

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