Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. The upper back bends outward while the lower back bends inward and thus creates an elongated S-shape. A person is diagnosed with scoliosis if their curvature is over ten degrees. Thankfully, scoliosis treatment is available for those dealing with the condition.
Scoliosis is most common in children between the ages of 10 and 16, which means it develops during a growth spurt. Adults can develop a degenerative form of scoliosis. The patient is typically at least 55 years old. Degenerative scoliosis can be caused by an injury to the spine or a condition like osteoporosis. A doctor can diagnose scoliosis through a physical exam, an X-ray, a bone exam, and a bend test.
How is Scoliosis Treated?
There are several treatments for scoliosis, and the doctor will recommend one based on the patient’s age and the severity of their condition, among other factors. For example, an adult with degenerative scoliosis will need to have the underlying cause treated.
Most children with scoliosis will need to wear a brace and undergo physical therapy. The brace will keep the curvature from getting worse while the child is growing, and it will eventually help straighten the spine. There are different types of braces, but many are made of a rigid plastic that fits around the torso. Braces only work while a child is still growing. After a child has stopped growing, the doctor will assess their condition.
What Does Surgery Involve?
The doctor will recommend surgery as a scoliosis treatment if the patient has a curve that is at least 40 degrees, or if their condition has not responded to the brace or physical therapy. The doctor will perform a minimally-invasive procedure, during which they will insert a tubular retractor, which is a special tool that will help them to access the curved parts of the spine. Real-time X-ray images and a special microscope will enable the doctor to see the treatment site while the surgery is being performed.
To put it simply, the right scoliosis treatment can truly change your life, especially when the condition has been affecting various aspects of your life. To learn about your options for your unique case, book an appointment at the office of Craig C. Callewart, MD PA, with locations in Dallas and Addison. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get started. We look forward to hearing from you!