Scoliosis, or abnormal curvature of the spine, is a musculoskeletal disorder which generally occurs during the growth spurt just before puberty, and can worsen over time.
What is scoliosis?
From the side, the spine 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. 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 forward. Scoliosis runs in families, but doctors often don’t know the cause. The possibility of severe scoliosis is higher in girls than boys. Scoliosis can cause back pain and sever scoliosis could even cause difficulty breathing. Adult scoliosis may be the worsening of a condition that began in childhood, but wasn’t diagnosed or treated. Adult scoliosis treatment is available.
Adult scoliosis may result from a degenerative joint or degenerative disc condition in the spine. If a scoliosis curve gets worse, the spine may 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. Scoliosis curves can get worse with age if left untreated.
SYMPTOMS AND CHARACTERISTICS of Scoliosis
Patients with scoliosis may present a variety of different characteristics or signs including:
- Uneven shoulders
- One shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other
- Uneven waist
- One hip higher than the other
- Leaning to one side
Symptoms may include:
- Neck pain
- Back pain
The MISI Approach to Scoliosis Treatment
Conservative, non-surgical Scoliosis treatment options are available. These include physical therapy, bracing, and other conservative measures. If conservative options fail, minimally invasive options are available for scoliosis. Scoliosis treatment traditionally involves open back surgery, but at the Minimally Invasive Surgical Institute, our specialists can utilize the most advanced Minimally Invasive techniques to achieve the same goals as traditional surgery with less risk of infection, less post-operative pain and quicker recoveries. Using a minimally invasive approach from the side of the spine (XLIF/lateral) combined with minimally invasive posterior techniques (TLIF/percutaneous screws), we can help restore a more normal spinal alignment allowing for a better quality of life.
Dr. Bryce Benbow has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.