At Craig C. Callewart M.D., Dr. Callewart and his staff of skilled professionals, we provide a range of personalized treatments and procedures for treating back pain and spinal disorders. Scoliosis is a rather common condition that affects both adults and adolescents. Individuals suffering from scoliosis can find relief in both Dallas and Addison, TX, in the comfort of our office.
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a condition that causes the spine to curve abnormally. It is a musculoskeletal disorder that most commonly develops during a growth spurt in childhood. It is deemed present when the curvature of the spine exceeds 10 degrees. When it occurs, the spine takes an elongated S shape where the upper back bows outward and the lower back curves slightly inward. A normal spine should appear as a straight line from the neck to the tailbone. In a patient with scoliosis, the spine may reveal one or more curves, or a hump in the back – even more so when bending forward. Scoliosis is more common in girls than boys. It can cause symptoms of pain, and in severe cases can even cause breathing difficulties.
Symptoms and Characteristics
Patients with scoliosis may experience various characteristics and symptoms including:
- Uneven shoulders
- One shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other
- Uneven waist
- One hip higher than the other
- Leaning to one side
- Neck pain
- Back pain
Adolescent or Teenage Scoliosis
Idiopathic scoliosis often appears in adolescents during their “growth spurts” (ages 10-16). It is found more commonly in girls. The cause is unknown, but evidence suggests the condition might be inherited.
Scoliosis in Adults
Degenerative scoliosis appears most often in adults age 55 and older. It results from trauma to the spine, such as a fall or back surgery, or due to illnesses such as bone collapse or osteoporosis.
A diagnosis is made through a physical examination. Dr. Callewart may order a bend test (in cases where the patient is able), bone exam, and X-ray before an accurate diagnosis can be made.
Nonsurgical options such as bracing or physical therapy are often advised initially for the treatment of scoliosis. If the condition seems to be getting progressively worse, surgical options may be necessary.
Nonsurgical Scoliosis Treatment
Braces are the preferred treatment for adolescents whose bones are still growing and who have a spinal curve ranging from 25 to 40 degrees.
Braces are used to effectively correct the curve and prevent it from worsening. Children who fail to wear their brace often see the curve return.
Minimally-invasive surgery is an option for patients whose curvature occurs in the lumbar and thoracic portion of the spine. The surgical incision made during the procedure is small enough to be covered by a band-aid, and patients experience less pain and fewer complications.
Dr. Callewart will advise adolescents with spinal curves ranging from 40 to 50 degrees – if they are candidates for surgery. Following surgery, the spine may not be perfectly straight, but surgery is effective at preventing the curve from worsening in most cases.
If you or your child are suffering from scoliosis, reach out to the professionals here at Craig C. Callewart, M.D. located in Dallas and Addison, TX to learn more. Contact us today and schedule your consultation!