Scoliosis is a condition where the spine curves sideways in an S shape. It is most often found in the lower or middle part of the back or in the area where the lower and middle spine meet. It is a condition that progresses slowly and usually happens to children just before puberty. It affects more girls than boys. In some cases, one side of the person’s body may be noticeably higher than the other. Their head may also lean to one side. People with this condition sometimes have pain in the back, are easily fatigued and may even have trouble breathing. There are several causes of this condition.
Cerebral palsy is a congenital disorder, which means that people are born with it. It affects the muscles and movement, and sometimes scoliosis is a symptom. Cerebral palsy isn’t inherited but can be the result of the baby experiencing jaundice or seizures at or shortly after birth. It can also be caused by complications during pregnancy, including the mother’s exposure to street drugs, alcohol and diseases such as German measles.
The curvature that describes scoliosis can be the result of an accident that damaged the spine. In that case, it is called degenerative scoliosis. If the condition comes from an injury, it can be corrected if treatment is started early enough.
Some cases of this condition have a hereditary component. A person is more likely to get it if a close relative has it, but just how the condition is passed on remains unknown. Some doctors believe that this condition is a result of genes interacting with the person’s environment. This is idiopathic scoliosis, which is the most common form of the disorder.
About 1 in 10,000 babies are born with scoliosis. This can be surgically corrected, but in some cases the body can self-correct by creating curvatures in other parts of the patient’s spine.
Treatment for Scoliosis
Fortunately, most cases of this condition are so mild that they do not need surgery. If the curvature is more severe, the patient may be fitted with a back brace. The brace doesn’t straighten the curve but keeps it from getting worse, especially in the case of an adolescent who is still growing. It is hoped that when the child reaches their adult height they won’t need surgery to correct their scoliosis.
If the condition is really severe, the patient may benefit from spinal fusion. This is when the doctor fuses the abnormally curved vertebra into a straight bone.
If you are worried that you or your child has this condition, don’t hesitate to reach out to the educated staff with Craig C. Callewart, MD, PA in Dallas and Addison, TX. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!