Scoliosis is nothing but the sideways curvature of the spine. It occurs mostly during the growth spurt just before puberty. Most cases are found to be mild with only a few symptoms. Some children develop spine distortion that gets worse as they grow. Worse scoliosis can be painful and disabling. Though this disease is self – diagnosable, it cannot be cured, and therefore treatment is not mandatory. But sometimes surgery or brace is needed, lab tests or imaging is always required. Since it is a chronic disease, it can last for years or may stay lifelong.
Commonly Asked Questions (C.A.Q.)
1. How does an individual discover that he or she has scoliosis?
Scoliosis or curvature of the spine usually produces a cosmetic distortion. Visible asymmetries in the shape of the back and the observation that one hip or shoulder is higher than the other are the most general signs that someone has scoliosis. These asymmetries are more evident in adolescence during the fast growth spurts and may be detected by friends or parents.
2. Is drinking enough milk or consuming junk food responsible for scoliosis?
In sporadic cases, scoliosis may be caused by dietary issues. Scoliosis may be a rare finding in diseases where lack of calcium causes softening of the bone. Whatsoever one consumes and the quantity of food one consumes doesn’t produce any curvature in the spine. Regarding junk food, they never cause any curve to the spine.
3. Does it hurt?
Adolescents and children who are suffering from scoliosis seldom complain of pain. If the pain is the primary reason for a young patient, then further analysis is required beyond standard x – rays to put in place an underlying cause of the curvature. For example, in rare instances, an excellent inflammatory focus of tissue (osteoid osteoma) can produce curvature of the spine.
The population of adults that are diagnosed with scoliosis seek treatment because of pain. As one grows old, the spine becomes less ductile and undergoes changes which lower the water content in the disks and cause inflammation in the joints.
4. Since surgery is not mandatory, does wearing a hard brace the only choice to preserve the spine?
Though there is a little dispute as to whether patients who qualify for specific criterion should be braced, the precise choice of the brace type and the time span of brace wear generates some exchange of views.
5. Who is fit for spinal surgery? Who is the decision maker for surgery and how worse the curve has to be?
For a patient discovered with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis, who has never undergone spine surgery, the leading indicator for an operation is a growing curvature measuring 40° or more. The physician will suggest surgery based on medical necessity (not at all a cosmetic reason), and then the surgical options are talked over with the patient, and with the parents of any patient who is below 18 years. The choice to proceed with the surgery is entirely on the hand of the patient except for who is below 18 years.
6. Is there any age restriction?
The final commitment for surgery is based on medical criteria, which includes the degree of curvature, the progress of curve and the skeletal maturity of the patient. Through surgical intervention, the spinal curvature can daily be made correct to 40% of the original size, but the curative aim should be more vitally be producing a fused spine that leaves the patient balanced.
The information contained in this article is presented to educate the people. Nothing contained in this section should be construed nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers. Should you have any healthcare-related questions, please call or see your physician or another qualified healthcare provider promptly. Always consult with your doctor or another qualified healthcare professional before embarking on a new treatment, diet, or fitness program.