What is the meaning of Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is the lateral curvature in the spine. It usually involves the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine. Scoliosis is often diagnosed/seen in childhood. The angle of the curvature may be small or large. An angle that measures more than 10 degrees on an X-ray is considered scoliosis. Letters “C” or “S” are often used to describe the curvature.
Along with the curve at the spine, there may be asymmetry in the pelvis, hips, and lower limbs.
There are two types of scoliosis. They are:
- Structural Scoliosis: Structural scoliosis involves an irreversible lateral curvature of the spine with fixed rotation of the vertebras of the spine.
In structural scoliosis, when bending forward to touch the ground, a mild rib hump is seen which indicates the fixed rotation of the vertebrae and rib cage.
- Nonstructural Scoliosis: Nonstructural scoliosis is reversible and can be changed with positional changes such as lying straight, realignment of the pelvis by correcting leg-length discrepancy or with muscle contractions. It is also known as functional or postural scoliosis.
Causes Of Scoliosis:
The causes of structural scoliosis include:
- Neuromuscular disorders like cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophies, spinal cord injury, etc.
- Osteopathic disorders like rickets, fractures, hemivertebrae ( Hemi= Half. A condition in which half a vertebrae is not formed.)
- Idiopathic conditions in which the cause is unknown.
The causes of nonstructural scoliosis include:
- Leg-length discrepancy (A condition in which one leg is shorter than the other.)
- Muscle guarding or muscle spasm because of pain in the back or neck
- Habitual/prolonged incorrect posture.
- Asymmetrical posture while sitting/standing.
Diagnosis Of Scoliosis
Physical examination: Initially, the doctor will take a thorough medical history and may inquire about the lifestyle. Your doctor may ask you to stand and then bend forward from the waist, arms hanging loosely, to see if one side of the rib cage is more prominent than the other during the physical exam. A neurological exam may also be performed by your doctor to look for Muscle strength, sensations and reflexes.
X-ray: X-rays help to diagnose the degree of curvature of the spine.
MRI: MRI may be suggested if the doctor suspects an underlying condition such as a spinal cord injury, etc.
Treatment Of Scoliosis
Depending on the type of scoliosis, the measurements of the curvature at the back, age, and other medical conditions, the best treatment is decided by the Orthopedician. The treatment of scoliosis includes a non-surgical and surgical approach.
- Non-surgical approach
The non-surgical approach is achieved with the use of a brace and physical therapy.
- Use of a brace
The goal is to keep the curve under control since childhood so that surgery is not required. The braces are hard plastics. These can be rigid and elastic, allowing movement. They can be worn for 16 to 23 hours per day until the children are in growing age.
- Physical Therapy
A thorough evaluation of the findings from the examinations, patient history, specific tests and measures is noted. The plan of treatment focuses on,
- Postural alignment in sitting and standing.
- Balance and Gait training.
- Muscle strength and endurance training.
- Ergonomic assessment and tips to improve ergonomics.
- Body mechanics.
- Breathing exercises.
- Cardiopulmonary endurance/ aerobic exercise training.
- Surgical approach
When curves are between 45 and 50 degrees, they are likely to worsen and may even affect how the lungs function. In such cases, your doctor may suggest spinal fusion surgery, which has been shown to reduce the progression of curves.
The curved small bones of the spine will be fused during this procedure. These vertebrae will fuse together to form a single straight bone as your child’s back heals. The curve would not change because growth in this area of the spine has been stopped.
Why Choose Sancheti Hospital, Pune for Treatment Of Scoliosis?
- 56 Years Of Experience in Orthopedic and Rehabilitation.
- Use of latest technologies and types of equipment.
- In-patient and Outpatient physiotherapy.
- Hassle-free appointment.
For more details or queries, reach us at our customer care number 88888 088 45