Scoliosis is an abnormal curve in the spine that may or may not cause discomfort. It typically occurs between ages 10 and 15 during growth spurts. Boys and girls are equally diagnosed with minor idiopathic scoliosis, but spinal curves in girls are 10 times more likely to worsen and require treatment.
While there is no cure for scoliosis, the symptoms can be significantly reduced with treatment.
What are some common causes of scoliosis?
While the cause of scoliosis remains unclear in the majority of cases, some types of scoliosis do have clear causes. In nonstructural scoliosis, the spine works normally but has a curved appearance. Common causes of nonstructural scoliosis include:
- One leg is longer than the other
- Muscle spasms
Once treated, nonstructural scoliosis often goes away.
In structural scoliosis, the curve of the spine is rigid and cannot be reversed. Common causes of structural scoliosis include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Muscular dystrophy
- Birth defects
- Marfan syndrome
- Down syndrome
What treatment options are available for nonstructural scoliosis?
While scoliosis cannot be prevented, it can be treated if it’s diagnosed early. In order to diagnose scoliosis, your doctor will need to look at the alignment of your spine. If it shifts to the left or right, they will order x-rays to confirm their diagnosis. Treatment options for scoliosis include:
- Physical therapy
- Back bracing
- Injections to manage pain
- Minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery (used only as a last resort)
Some types of scoliosis are caused by an abnormality elsewhere in the body. Treating the abnormality treats this particular type of scoliosis. In these cases, no direct treatment of scoliosis is necessary because the spine is normal and will straighten once the abnormality is corrected.
If you or a loved needs expert treatment for scoliosis in or around San Antonio, contact the skilled physicians at Neurosurgery & Spine Consultants. We specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of structural deformities, like scoliosis, andwork together to provide the relief you need, as fast as possible, while taking a cautious approach to surgery.