Scoliosis is a condition where the spine curves sideways. It can be seen as an abnormal curvature of the spine. The normal shape of a person’s spine includes a curve at the top of the shoulder and a curve at the lower back.
CAUSES OF SCOLIOSIS
In approximately 80% of cases, scoliosis is idiopathic, meaning that it has no known cause. Scoliosis can also arise as a result of underlying medical conditions such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and Marfan syndrome, etc.
SYMPTOMS OF SCOLIOSIS
– Leaning to one side
– Shoulders not the same height
– Uneven hips, waist, legs and/or rib cage
– One shoulder blade more prominent than the other.
TYPES OF SCOLIOSIS
(A) THORACIC SCOLIOSIS – This describes curvature positioned in the middle part of the spine. It is the most common location for scoliosis curves.
(B) LUMBAR SCOLIOSIS – This refers to a sideways curve in the lower (or lumbar) portion of the spine.
(C) THORACO-LUMBAR SCOLIOSIS – This describes curvature positioned in the middle part of the spine. It is the most common location for scoliosis curves.
(D) COMBINED SCOLIOSIS – This refers to a sideways curve in the lower (or lumbar) portion of the spine.
TREATMENT OF SCOLIOSIS
Common scoliosis treatment methods depending on the patient’s age, location of the curve, etc. include bracing, where the patient wears a rigid plastic shell to prevent the curve progressing further, and spinal fusion, a surgical procedure that uses metal rods to fix the spine in place. Surgery is usually only recommended if the patient’s curve has progressed to an angle of 40 degrees or more.
Pedicle screws are used sometimes in a spinal fusion to add extra support and strength to the fusion while it heals. Pedicle screws are placed above and below the vertebrae that were fused. A rod is used to connect the screws which prevents movement and allows the bone graft to heal.
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