Scoliosis Surgery in New York

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Who Are The New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates?

New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates’ mission is to provide personalized, high-quality spine care. We have created a practice that we believe in and choose for our own family members. Our Spine Surgeons perform Spinal Surgery on the neck and lower back. This includes scoliosis surgery in New York and Long Island.

Drs. Ira and Marc Chernoff have been working together for over 16 years in private practice. These two brothers are fellowship-trained in Spinal Surgery. The majority of our patients are treated conservatively without the need for surgery, but we do offer several procedures that both doctors have experience performing. Spinal Surgery procedures that we routinely perform include Lumbar Microdiscectomy, Cervical Discectomy and Fusion, Lumbar Laminectomy and Fusion Procedures.

Each physician is Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and fellowship-trained in Spinal Surgery. Our Nurse practitioners always consult with the attending physician prior to working with each patient in order to provide informed, consistent care at all times.

What is Scoliosis? – Scoliosis Surgery New York

Scoliosis is an abnormal curving of the spine. While all spines have a natural curve, patients with scoliosis have excessive spinal curving. Usually, scoliosis develops during the growth spurt before puberty, between the ages of 9 and 15. Although some cases of scoliosis are congenital, and some are the result of underlying neuromuscular conditions, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, most cases of scoliosis are idiopathic, meaning their cause is unknown. Both girls and boys can develop scoliosis, but cases in females are more likely to require treatment. In some cases, scoliosis appears to be hereditary.

Signs of Scoliosis

Patients with mild cases of scoliosis have no symptoms apart from the irregularity of their appearance. If the curve of the spine worsens, however, and the spine twists, patients may experience:

  • Low back pain
  • Extreme fatigue after sitting or standing
  • Difficulty breathing (in severe cases)

If symptoms of scoliosis worsen, treatment may become necessary.

Scoliosis Diagnosis in Adults

In addition to a physical examination of the back, shoulders, waist and hips, patients suspected of having scoliosis typically undergo neurological examinations to evaluate muscle strength, reflexes, and areas of numbness. Imaging tests are also administered to determine the severity of the problem and to rule out other possible reasons for the curvature of the spine, such as tumors. Diagnostic imaging tests may include CT, MRI and bone scans. A spinal curve measurement, using a device called a scoliometer, will also be taken.

Scoliosis Treatment New York

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Treatment of scoliosis varies a great deal depending on the severity of the condition.

Mild Scoliosis

Mild cases of scoliosis may require no treatment beyond periodic medical examinations. Cases of scoliosis affecting the following groups bear especially careful monitoring:

  • Girls, who have a higher rate of progressive scoliosis
  • Individuals with larger or double (S-shaped) curves
  • Individuals whose abnormal curve is in the thoracic spine

Once patients have reached maturity, and their bones have stopped growing, as assessed by the onset of puberty and tests to assess bone growth, there is very little risk of worsening scoliosis.

Moderate To Severe Scoliosis

When treatment for moderate scoliosis is necessary, it most often takes the form of a back brace. While the brace will not cure the condition, it will prevent it from exacerbating. Braces for scoliosis are only used in children whose bones are still growing. More serious cases of scoliosis may require surgical intervention.

In most cases, the surgery performed to treat this condition is spinal fusion, during which two or more vertebrae are connected with bone grafts or artificial materials. During spinal fusion procedures, metal rods are installed to stabilize the area until the bones grow together. Although such surgery is normally done after the patient has finished growing, when the scoliosis is progressing at a dangerous rate, an adjustable rod may be inserted which can be lengthened every 6 months to accommodate the child’s growth.

Most patients with scoliosis, even if it becomes severe, are able to be successfully treated and to lead normal, productive lives.

Early Scoliosis New York Signs

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Over time, cases of scoliosis can get worse. This often results in reduced space around the chest which sometimes makes it difficult for the lungs to properly function. Because scoliosis commonly appears in early adolescence, it is important to recognize the warning signs. The warning signs of scoliosis in adolescents include:

  • Pant legs, sleeves or hemlines appearing uneven 
  • Uneven arm length or shoulder heights 
  • A slight limp 
  • Sore back, tingling, or numbness
  • One breast more prominent than the other

In infants, the symptoms include: 

  • A bulge on either side of the chest
  • The infant may lie curved to one side consistently
  • In more severe cases, shortness of breath and chest pain can occur 

In adults, the warning signs may progress if they have had it since childhood but were not diagnosed. As you get older with scoliosis, the curves can grow. Another form of scoliosis can also form in adults. The disks that sit in between the bones and joints in your spine start to break down causing them to tilt. This leads to the spine starting to curve. One of the first signs to look out for with scoliosis is back pain. The spine curving can put pressure on nerves causing tingling and numbness. In adults, symptoms of scoliosis include:

  • Uneven shoulders/hips
  • Bump in the  lower back
  • Trouble walking or standing up straight 
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Decrease in height
  • Bone spurs (bony bumps in joints of the spine)
  • Feeling full quickly after eating (this is from pressure put on your stomach from your spine)

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and believe you may have scoliosis, scoliosis surgery in New York at New York Orthopedic Spinal Associates can help you. 

What Leads to the Development of Scoliosis?

There is no definite cause of scoliosis. It is more common in females than males (a 9:1 ratio).  The reason for this is also unknown, but it may be due to a genetic tendency or the alteration of hormones. In adults, the development of scoliosis can be caused by the result of the slow curving of childhood curves in the spine that were left untreated.  If you are looking for Scoliosis Surgery in New York, New York Orthopedic Spinal Associates can offer you surgery along with other potential solutions depending upon the severity. Some possible causes for Scoliosis include:

  • Congenital scoliosis: This is very rare and occurs when the spine grows abnormally when inside the mother
  • Specific Genes
  • Leg Length: If one leg is longer than the other, this can lead to the development of scoliosis 
  • Syndromic Scoliosis: This is when scoliosis forms from another disease such as neurofibromatosis or Marfan’s syndrome 
  • Other causes include:
    • Bad posture
    • Carrying heavy backpacks
    • Connective tissue disorders 

 Less common types could be caused by:

  • Cerebral Palsy or Muscular Dystrophy
  • Birth defects that affect the development of the spine 
  • Injuries/Infections of the Spine 

What are the Risk Factors of Scoliosis?

  • Age: most cases of scoliosis develop right before puberty (9-15 years)
  • Sex: Females have a higher risk than males of the curves worsening 
  • Family History: Scoliosis can be hereditary 

How Is Scoliosis in New York Diagnosed?

Scoliosis Surgery in New York at New York Orthopedic Spinal Associates can benefit you in a number of ways, but first, we need to diagnose the severity of your scoliosis. We diagnose scoliosis through a series of tests that include: 

  • A physical examination of the back, shoulders, hips, and waist
  • Neurological examinations to evaluate muscle strength, reflexes, and areas that are numb
  • Imaging Tests
  • Diagnostic tests such as CT, MRI, and bone scans 
  • A spinal curve measurement using a tool called a scoliometer

Make an appointment for scoliosis surgery in New York today and take the next step in treating your scoliosis.

To schedule a consultation or for more information on our services