Scoliosis – curvature of the spine
Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine, and is in fact the most common abnormal spinal curvature. It most commonly occurs in female adolescents. The curve tends to be located in the upper back. Small curves do not usually cause pain. In addition to a curved spine, scoliosis may also cause a corkscrew-like rotation of the spine. There is no known cause, though it can run in families.
• One hip higher than the other
• One shoulder blade more prominent than the other
• A small curve in the back, usually the upper back
• A deformity in the back
Bracing of the back is frequently prescribed as a first treatment option for scoliosis. Back braces are customized to the specific curvature of the patient’s spine and are used to restrain the curve during the patient’s growth years.
Instrumentation and Fusion
If a patient’s curve is severe enough, surgery to straighten the spine may be prescribed. This involves the insertion of pedicle screws, hooks and rods in the spine. The rods are locked into position and a bone graft is applied in order to create a spinal fusion and prevent further curvature.