Scoliosis is a condition in which your spine is curved from side to side. At SSM Health, we offer the latest advanced technology and expertise to customize a treatment plan best suited for your needs.

Scoliosis is generally classified as congenital (an abnormality from birth), idiopathic (unknown cause), or secondary to another condition. Other causes could include:

  • Neuromuscular conditions
  • Birth defects
  • Injuries or infections of the spine

Signs & Symptoms of Scoliosis

Many times, mild curves can develop without a parent or child even noticing since they can appear gradually and usually do not cause pain. Signs and symptoms of scoliosis may include:

  • Uneven shoulders
  • One shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other
  • Uneven waist
  • One hip higher than the other

If your scoliosis curve gets worse, your spine may also rotate or twist. This could cause your ribs on one side to stick out farther than on the other side.

Treatment for Scoliosis

Treating scoliosis can be complicated, and the best course of treatment is usually determined by both the skeletal maturity and the severity of the spinal curvature. The most conservative methods are physical therapy to help you cope with scoliosis, and occupational therapy to help you participate in daily activities.

Bracing involves an apparatus that covers your torso. It is typically done when the bones are still growing, to hold the curve and prevent it from progressing. Bracing can only be implemented for adults to relieve pain. In cases of infant or juvenile scoliosis, a series of plaster casts may be used instead of a brace.

Surgery is often recommended for spinal curves that are highly likely to progress or that affect functions like sitting and breathing. The most widely performed surgery is spinal fusion, in which bone is grafted to the vertebrae so they become a solid bone mass and the vertebral column becomes rigid. There are two main types of spinal fusion:

  • Anterior fusion is performed through an incision at the side of the chest wall.
  • Posterior fusion is performed through an incision in the back and uses metal instrumentation to correct the spinal curve.

If you notice symptoms of scoliosis, it is important to see your physician for a complete evaluation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or request a second opinion. Our exceptional team at SSM Health will tailor a treatment plan to help you get ahead of the curve.

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