What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis or rather scoliosis is a disease characterized by an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine.

Scoliosis affects girls twice as often as boys. The disease usually manifests itself over the age of 10, but the condition can also be seen in infants.

What are the symptoms of scoliosis?

The symptoms of scoliosis can vary depending on the degree of curvature and other individual factors.

In some cases, scoliosis can be subclinical and cause no noticeable symptoms. In other cases, however, symptoms may be intensified and include the following:

  • Head deviation: The head can be placed off-center, ie. be tilted or turned to the sides.
  • Shoulder asymmetry: One shoulder may appear higher or lower than the other, which is a clear sign of scoliosis. li>
  • Asymmetry of the hips: One hip may appear higher than the other, which may also be visible when viewed from the side.
  • Pelvic tilt : The pelvis may be tilted, with one side of the body raised above the other.
  • Slumped gait: The gait may appear floaty or unsteady due to an imbalance in the body.
  • Pains: Patients with scoliosis often experience pain in the spine, especially during prolonged standing or physical activity.
  • Other symptoms:
  • strong> In some cases, scoliosis can cause breathing and heart problems, especially with severe degrees of curvature.

To make an accurate diagnosis and determine the extent of scoliosis, patients are often consult an orthopedist or a rheumatologist.

Doctors use a variety of testing methods, including x-rays, which allow them to assess the degree of distortion.

Treatment for scoliosis is determined by the degree of curvature and symptoms. In mild cases, treatment may include physical therapy, corrective exercises, and wearing corsets. In more severe cases, surgical correction of the spine may be necessary.

In any case, it is important to consult a medical professional if you suspect scoliosis or experience symptoms related to it.

Early detection and appropriate treatment can help manage this disease and prevent potential complications.

What are the causes?

In most cases, the cause is unknown, so doctors designate the form of the disease as idiopathic. There are two groups of reasons:

  • Nonstructural (functional) – when the cause is functional, then the condition is temporary because the spine is of normal shape. The distortion occurs as a result of another condition. For example, as a result of one leg being shorter than the other, or problems with the abdominal area such as appendicitis.
  • Structural – in this type, the spine is abnormally shaped. The curvature is a symptom of other diseases or conditions such as a congenital anomaly, muscular dystrophy, metabolic diseases or connective tissue disorders such as Marfan syndrome.

Treatment of Scoliosis

In most cases, no treatment is necessary.

  • If the curvature is less than 25 degrees, no treatment is required and the child’s condition should be monitored by a doctor through follow-up examinations every 4 to 6 months.
  • If the curvature is more than 25 degrees but less than 40, corset treatment can be applied. This will not cure the disease, but it prevents the distortion from continuing. In order for this method of treatment to be effective, it is necessary to constantly wear the corset – 16-23 hours a day. Children who wear a corset can do anything with some minor exceptions. In addition, if necessary, the corset can be worn when participating in sports and other similar activities. The corset treatment is discontinued after the bone growth stops. This usually happens:

– About 2 years after the first menstrual cycle in women;

– When guys start shaving daily;

– When growth in height stops;

  • For curvature more than 45 degrees, the possibility of surgical intervention should be discussed. The most commonly used type of surgery is called spinal fusion. The surgery is usually performed after height growth has stopped. The surgery involves fusing certain vertebrae to correct the condition, usually requiring the insertion of various metal instrumentation for stabilization. Complications from spine surgery can include bleeding, infection, pain, or nerve damage. In rare cases, the added bone material fails to fuse with the existing bone, necessitating reoperation.

Choosing the appropriate treatment method depends on how likely the distortion is to increase rather than on its current state.

A child with 20 degrees of curvature, who will grow for another four years, needs treatment. While a youth with 29 degrees of curvature who has stopped growing does not need treatment.

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