December 22 21:43 2019 Print This Article

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. The word scoliosis (say: sko-lee- oh -sus) comes from a Greek word meaning crooked. Although it usually doesn’t cause pain, scoliosis or its treatment can sometimes wound a child’s self-esteem. If the spine is very crooked, the ribs or hips may stick out more on one side than the other side.

A spine with scoliosis has abnormal curves with a rotational deformity. This means that the spine turns on its axis like a corkscrew. The Scoliosis Association (UK) was founded in 1981. Children with more a severe curve that continues to increase, however, may require a brace or surgery. It is the only independent support group for scoliosis in the UK. The condition can be hereditary, so a person who has scoliosis may have family members who have it.

Scoliosis is the most common deformity of the spine.Some of the bones in a scoliotic spine also may have rotated slightly, making the person’s waist or shoulders appear uneven. Other common spinal deformities include kyphosis and lordosis, however these deformities are much less common. Idiopathic scoliosis in adolescents is the most common type. Some people may be prone to the curving of the spine.

About 3-5 of 1,000 people are affected. Scoliosis usually occurs in those older than 10 years, but the condition can be seen in infants. Viewed from behind though, the spine should appear as a straight line from the base of the neck to the tailbone. Most types of scoliosis are more common in girls than boys, and girls with scoliosis are more likely to need treatment. However, when there are abnormal side-to-side (lateral) curves in the spinal column, we refer to this as scoliosis.

Causes of Scoliosis

The comman causes of Scoliosis include the following:

  • The cause of the most common form of scoliosis that develops in childhood is unknown, hence its name – idiopathic scoliosis.
  • Injury, infection, disease, or birth defects can cause it.
  • Scoliosis may also develop due to unequal leg length or as a result of injury to the spine.
  • Structural: The curvature is caused by another disease process such as a birth defect, muscular dystrophy, metabolic diseases, connective tissue disorders, or Marfan syndrome.
  • Nonstructural (functional): This type of scoliosis is a temporary condition when the spine is otherwise normal. The curvature occurs as the result of another problem.
  • Congenital scoliosis is a type of birth defect that affects the development of the vertebrae and often occurs with other congenital problems.
  • Scoliosis may also develop as a result of malformations of the spine present at birth or in association with spina bifida.

Symptoms of Scoliosis

Some sign and symptoms related to Scoliosis are as follows:

  • Scoliosis is usually painless.
  • Uneven shoulders.
  • One shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other.
  • Raised shoulder blade(s).
  • One hip higher than the other.
  • You may experience back pain or tire easily during activities that require excessive trunk (chest and belly) movement.
  • Uneven waist.
  • An elevated hip.
  • Ribs sticking out on one side of her chest.
  • In developing girls, breasts appearing to be of unequal size.

Treatment of Scoliosis

Here is list of the methods for treating Scoliosis:

  • Minor degrees of scoliosis need no treatment, physiotherapy may be of help and a specialist will regularly monitor the child.
  • If your childís curve does get worse, her doctor may have her wear a brace. The brace will fit under her arms and around her rib cage, lower back, and hips.
  • If the curve is less than 25°, no treatment is required, and the child can be reexamined every 4-6 months.
  • If your childís curve continues to get worse, her doctor may suggest doing surgery to straighten her spine.
  • In severe cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to correct a curve or stop it from worsening if you are still growing.