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What is Scoliosis? Know More

by Dr. G. Balamurali |February 12, 2020 | Scoliosis

An overview of Scoliosis and its effects

Scoliosis is a bone deformity affecting the spines. X-rays of the individuals suffering from Scoliosis show an “S” or “C’ shaped curvature in their spines. Although Scoliosis is physiologically harmless, the condition can be extremely self-limiting for those suffering, and rare forms of Scoliosis can lead to some high-risk complications as well. According to studies, the public is ill-informed about the disease and its various complications. Many realize the effects late in the years after developing a back hump and respiratory troubles that may require them to undergo life-threatening spinal correction surgeries during their growing years. Though there are no known preventive measures to avoid Scoliosis, it is imperative to understand and share the knowledge about this progressive disease to avail various treatment options with the help of a neuro specialist in Chennai.

Scoliosis: Causes and effects

Scoliosis is a silent progressive bone deformity that causes a sideways curvature of spines, occurring mostly during puberty. Worldwide studies reveal that about 3% of adolescents suffer from Scoliosis, with the majority of cases mild in nature. But due to the condition’s progressive nature, Scoliosis tends to get severe when the child grows. A sharp curve in the spine reduces the space within the chest, limiting the proper functioning of lungs and heart; and, thereby restricts the physical activities of the individual. Many of them might have to undergo spine corrective surgeries such as Ribs Costocomy and Instrumental spine surgery to reduce the adversities of a severe Scoliosis.

Most of the known cases of Scoliosis do not have a specific cause, and hence, the condition is also a feed for many rumors. No wonder many believe Scoliosis is caused by childhood sports injuries, by lifting heavy school bags, or by poor sitting postures. But as mentioned earlier, these are only rumors and are not the real causes for Scoliosis. The reasons for Scoliosis can be broadly classified into three categories.

  • Congenital – These vertebral anomalies are present during birth.
  • Idiopathic – These are the unknown causes. Idiopathic causes can be further sub-classified into infantile, adolescent, juvenile, or adult according to the age of the patient.
  • Neuro-muscular – These are generally developed as a secondary symptom of other medical conditions such as Spina Bifida, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Cerebral Palsy, or any physical trauma.
  • Chiari Malformation – is a lesser-known cause of Scoliosis. Brain tissue grows up to the spine due to the smaller skull size in this condition.

Signs of Scoliosis

Most of the initial symptoms of Scoliosis are visible during the pre-teen or early teenage years. Mild symptoms in the children are monitored closely with X-ray and MRI diagnosis. X-rays help in determining the measure of curves, which help the physicians to advise proper treatment. Many of them require negligible treatment, while a few need to wear braces to prevent the worsening of curves. Severe Scoliosis cases might be referred to as surgeries also. The following are the significant symptoms shown by a Scoliosis patient.

  • Uneven musculature on any one side of the spine
  • Chances of a shoulder blade prominence or a rib prominence that are caused by the rotation of ribcage in thoracic Scoliosis.
  • Uneven hips, waist, arms, or leg lengths are yet another prominent symptom.
  • Some cases may also show slow nerve action.

Parents are advised to take their children to doctors if they notice a slight curve. These may be painless initially but can lead to a painful situation if left untreated for long.

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Dr. G. Balamurali

Dr. G. Balamurali

Internationally trained Spinal Neurosurgeon with 24 years of surgical experience, from UK. Extensively trained in all niche aspects of spinal surgery as part of 3-year fellowship in the UK (Liverpool & Nottingham), USA (San Francisco & Chicago) and Switzerland (Zurich). Senior Spine and Neurosurgeon in India since 2011. Read more

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