Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a condition where the spine has a laterally abnormal curve. It can be a result of a genetic spine deformity in an infant resulting in neuromuscular conditions, and/or one limb being longer than the other. Cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy and tumors can cause scoliosis as well. The majority of scoliosis patients are female.

Most scoliosis cases are idiopathic, meaning there is no proven cause; these patients are usually otherwise healthy people. It's very rare to find scoliosis in children younger than 10, but it's possible. Scoliosis is usually first seen during puberty. Early detection of scoliosis is the key to preventing further deformity.

Scoliosis Symptoms

Symptoms of scoliosis can include one or many of the following symptoms: a child's shoulders being uneven or one higher than the other, a head is not balanced in a centered position above pelvis, one or both hips prominently raised, rib cages not equidistant to the spine, uneven waist, the leaning of the body to one side when standing, skin over the spine with dimples, hairy patches and pigment changes.

Scoliosis Treatment

Many pediatricians and school health officials administer the Adam's Forward Bend Test to children in the 5th or 6th grade. In this test, the patient will bend 90 digress at the waist while leaning forward with his or her feet together; the person examining the patient can then notice any abnormality to the spine. It should be noted that though this test can detect problems, it cannot pinpoint how severe the problem is.

Depending on how severe the condition is, many doctors will treat patients with either close observation over the rest of their growing period to control the condition, the bracing of the back to slowly correct the problem, or in extreme cases, surgery, which involves the adding of metal columns to the spine to correct the curvature.

As with any other disease or condition, early detection is vital to the complete recovery of the patient.

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