The spine is an elegant structure. From the side it takes the form of an elongated S—the upper back bowing outward and the lower back curving slightly inward. Viewed from behind, though, the spine should appear as a straight line from the base of the neck to the tailbone.
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. If you have scoliosis, the view from behind may reveal one or more abnormal curves, or you may notice a hump in your back especially when you bend.
Scoliosis runs in families, but doctors often don’t know the cause. More girls than boys have severe scoliosis. Adult scoliosis may be the worsening of a condition that began in childhood, but wasn’t diagnosed or treated. In other cases, scoliosis may result from a degenerative joint condition in the spine.
If a scoliosis curve gets worse, the spine will also rotate or twist, in addition to curving side to side. This causes the ribs on one side of the body to stick out farther than on the other side. Severe scoliosis can cause back pain and even difficulty breathing. Scoliosis curves can get worse with age if left untreated.
- Uneven shoulders
- One shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other
- Uneven waist
- One hip higher than the other
- Leaning to one side
Scoliosis is traditionally treated with open back surgery, but at the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute, our sophisticated pain mapping techniques allow us to pinpoint precisely where the spine curvature is causing the problem. Using a small 12 or 15 mm incision and a state-of-the-art X-Ray machine, we can insert screws from the outside, avoiding metal rods and open back surgery in many cases. And because we do not use expandable retractors, like many others who claim to do minimally invasive surgery, we avoid cutting muscle altogether, so you can get back to life as quickly as possible.Why Minimally Invasive?