Scoliosis is a sideward curvature of the spine. When viewed from the back, the protrusions of the spine (spinous processes) can be seen curved, instead of being straight (normal). The condition is usually reported by the parents of children and adolescences between 10 to 16 years old, with girls being more affected than boys.
Some tell-tale signs include the child leaning to one side, having uneven shoulders and a more prominent shoulder blade on one side. The diagnosis of scoliosis usually consist of an X-ray examination to assess the severity of the curve and also to determine the type of scoliosis as stated below.
Types of Scoliosis
- Idiopathic scoliosis
- The most common type of scoliosis
- It has no specific identifiable cause
- Congenital scoliosis
- Caused by a bone abnormality present at birth
- Neuromuscular scoliosis
- An effect from abnormal muscles or nerves
- Affects people with paralysis, spina bifida or cerebral palsy
- Degenerative scoliosis
- An effect from an injury to the bones of the spine
- An effect from a bone condition (like osteoporosis)
For adolescents having mild scoliosis, the use of a body brace may be advised. This is due to their bones not fully matured. The intention is to stop the progression on the curve and is a temporary correction.
For severe curves, the surgeon may advise undergoing corrective surgery. Metallic implants are used to hold the spine in the correct position and a bone graft may be used to fix the bones in place.