Scoliosis Information

Scoliosis is a very complicated and often edit-my-paper.net/ misunderstood deformity of the spine. click here to investigate It is often painful for the individual, can lead to many life-threatening conditions involving the heart, lungs, etc; and can often be a source of embarrassment due to abnormal head, shoulder, and hip positions. Approximately 2-4% of children develop scoliosis.

scoliosis xrays series

Pediatric Scoliosis

Childhood Scoliosis is usually known as adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. There are many different theories as to why scoliosis develops but no one knows for certain why these occur.

  • Scoliosis is more common in girls
  • There is often a family history
  • Scoliosis can progress rapidly in adolescents
  • It is usually first noticed in 10-13 year olds.

 

Pediatric childhood scoliosis treatments

 

There are 2 major factors that should be considered with treatment for scoliosis:

 

1. The physical maturity of the patient. 

Children grow at different rates.  Scoliosis specialists take special x-rays to determine the skeletal age of a child.  This is called a Risser score. As a general rule, the more immature the skeleton, the more growth left and the greater potential for progression. For example, a child with a Risser 0 with a 20 degree curve will most likely progress with severity than a Risser 5 with a 20 degree curve.  The degree of curve, alone, should NEVER dictate treatment options.

2. The severity of the curve. 

Different degrees of curves, coupled with the aforementioned Risser score, onset of menses, family history, and “balance” of the spinal curves determines the most appropriate type of treatment.  Please see the Treatment Options section for more information.  Remember, the most important aspect is finding the right treatment at the right time.

Graphic 3 - Results

 

 

 

 

Adult Scoliosis & Treatments:

There are two main types of adult scoliosis:

  1. Pre-existing (usually adolescent idiopathic scoliosis) which in adulthood becomes known as Adolescent Scoliosis in Adult (ASA)
  2. Degenerative De-Novo Scoliosis (DDS).  Development of a new scoliosis in adults, usually as a result of spinal degeneration.

DDS usually develops in middle aged and older adults and is typically seen starting around 45 years of age onwards. Because DDS is a result of degenerative instability, it is almost always progressive. However the main complaint usually associated with DDS is lower back pain.  Often this pain is severe and little relief has been found from usual medical and complementary care. A common misunderstanding still perpetuated by most health professionals is that scoliosis does not cause pain. This is not true. This notion has come about because the majority of children suffering from adolescent idiopathic scoliosis do not present with a primary complaint of pain and quite often even large deformities in children do not cause pain. However, in adults between the ages of 50 and 80 who suffer from chronic lower back pain, research shows that up 40% will have an adult scoliosis.

This misconception has led to a diagnostic and treatment approach that largely ignores the role of scoliosis in chronic lower pain in adults and, as a result, less than satisfactory outcomes for many of these patients.

The pain seen in adult scoliosis is not related to the size of the curve. Several good studies show there is little to no relationship between the size of the curve and pain. i.e a 20 degree and a 55 degree curve have the same chance of causing pain in an adult. For more information on treatment, see the TREATMENT OPTIONS section

Graphic 1 - Background

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