Scoliosis is marked by a crooked or sideways curve of the spine. The symptoms usually begin to appear during childhood or puberty and may be caused by health conditions, such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy. However, in most cases, the cause is unknown.
Scoliosis is not addressed purely for reasons of physical appearance. There are complications associated with the condition, such as the compression of internal organs and disability. In the worst cases of scoliosis, there is an evident rotation or twisting of the spine, resulting in the ribs jutting out abnormally. This can impact movement and function.
Treatments for scoliosis usually have better outcomes when the abnormality is addressed early on. If your child is showing signs and symptoms of scoliosis, it’s best to seek medical attention as early as possible. If you are experiencing symptoms similar to scoliosis, see a doctor. Just because you didn’t have the condition as a child, doesn’t mean you can’t develop it later on.
Signs and Symptoms of Scoliosis
Check your posture when you stand up straight. Are the shoulders uneven? Does one shoulder blade jut out more than the other? Is there unevenness in the waist area? Is one side of the hip higher than the other? Scoliosis doesn’t necessarily have to be severe. However, even when the condition is slight, it can impact your health.
With scoliosis, your heart and lungs may be compressed. You may experience difficulty breathing normally or have chest pain or tightness. Another common symptom is unexplained back pain.
If you suspect scoliosis, see a doctor as soon as you can. A spine doctor is the specialist who can help treat the condition and manage your symptoms.
Two treatments for scoliosis that doctors often recommend are braces and surgery.
Braces usually work for children whose bones are still growing. Braces can prevent the spinal curve from further progression. The brace should be worn every day for at least 16 hours. Most children with scoliosis who wear a brace can prevent the need for surgery in the future.
Surgery is usually recommended for severe cases of pediatric scoliosis or adult-aged patients (post-puberty) with scoliosis. Spinal fusion surgery can reduce the severity of scoliosis. During the procedure, the surgeon will realign the vertebrae and fuse them together, so they do not move independently. The surgeon does this by placing metal screws, rods, or hooks, with the goal of holding the spine straight and allowing components of it to heal together. It’s called spinal fusion surgery because the artificial parts fuse together with the vertebrae.
Scoliosis Treatment from Top Spine Doctors in Central Maryland
The spine specialists at the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland (OACM) have the training and skills necessary to address spine curvature issues like scoliosis. Our goal is to treat spine issues to prevent complications and allow our patients to live normal and productive lives.
We have three locations from which to serve you: Catonsville, Columbia, and Eldersburg. To schedule a consultation with our skilled spine doctors, call (410) 644-1880 or send an appointment request now.