Daniel K. Park, MD

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Scoliosis

Adolescent Scoliosis

Scoliosis is medical condition where there is abnormal lateral curvature of the spine. Scoliosis can occur at any age and is seen more frequently in girls than boys. It curves like an “S” or “C” shape. Larger curves cause discomfort while the small curves do not cause any problems. Scoliosis can occur at any age, however, and the cause is not known in 80% of cases.

Scoliosis can be categorized into four basic types depending on the age, cause and spinal curvature:

  • Structural Scoliosis
  • Non structural Scoliosis
  • Idiopathic Scoliosis
    • Infantile
    • Juvenile
    • Adolescent

Other types of scoliosis are neuromuscular, congenital and degenerative.

Symptoms

Symptoms of scoliosis may include the following: Uneven shoulder - one shoulder is more prominent than the other

  • Back pain
  • Head is not centered
  • Abnormal curve of the spine
  • Breathing problems
  • Lethargy

Children’s with scoliosis have typical physical signs, which include, a bulge or hump on one side of the back appears when bending forward, curvature of the spine laterally and uneven shoulders and hips.

Treatment

Treatment of Scoliosis is based on the physician’s assessment of the spinal curve, its cause, the age of the patient, and how much more the patient may grow. Treatment options include: Observation and bracing. Surgery is an option for individuals with severe scoliosis to stop the curve from getting worse. The surgery repairs the abnormal curvature of the spine. There are different surgical approaches to repair the deformity, and the choice of the approach to the spine is based on the type of scoliosis, location of the curvature of the spine, ease of approach to the area of the curve and the preference of the surgeon.