How Can I Treat Scoliosis?
Our spine is the support system of our entire body. We need it and use it in every aspect of our day to day life. Whether it be to stand up straight, bend down, or lift heavy objects, you can bet that your spine is there to help you get the job done. However, if you have been noticing that your posture is off or you have been told that your shoulders appear to lean forward, you may have scoliosis. Luckily, our experienced staff at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates can assess your spine and determine if spine surgery New York is right for you!
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is characterized as an abnormal curve of the spine. When you look at a normal spine, you will see that it runs straight down the middle. Also, a normal spine will have a curve at the top of your shoulders and the lower back. However, if your entire spine curves from side to side or forms an “S” or a “C” shape, it is most likely scoliosis.
What Causes Scoliosis?
About 80% of scoliosis cases do not have an exact pinpointed reason or cause according to the AANS. This is known as “idiopathic” scoliosis, and it can be broken down into 4 age groups:
- Teens or adolescents.
Adolescents are the group that most commonly experiences scoliosis. When the cause of scoliosis can be pinpointed, it is commonly categorized into two groups:
- Structural – The spine works normally but appears to be curved. Causes include muscle spasm or one leg being longer than the other leg. This type can go away with proper treatment.
- Nonstructural – This condition is irreversible and it’s caused by birth defects, infections, tumors, neurological abnormalities such as cerebral palsy or genetic conditions such as muscular dystrophy.
Symptoms: What To Look For?
Symptoms vary from person to person and depend on the degree of the spine. However, some main symptoms to look out for include:
- Uneven hips.
- One of the shoulder blades is either higher or sticking out more than the other.
- Rotating spine.
- Back pain.
- Limited space in your chest resulting in breathing problems.
What Are My Options?
Treatment varies and depends on factors that include:
- The degree of your spine.
- If you’re still growing.
- The type of curvature in your spine.
- The type of scoliosis you possess (Structural or Nonstructural).
If you have scoliosis, two primary treatment options are:
- Bracing – Our spinal doctor will recommend that you wear a brace if your spine hasn’t fully grown and the degree is more than 25-40 degrees. It won’t necessarily straighten your spine but it can prevent the curvature from worsening.
- Spine Surgery New York – Spinal fusion surgery is recommended for those who have more than a 40-degree curve in their spine. This will require our spinal surgeon to fuse the vertebrae using bone grafts, rods, and screws. The purpose of the rods is to keep your spine straight, while the screws hold them together to allow the bone graft and vertebrae to fuse together to form one bone.
Contact Us Today!
If your scoliosis is severe and beginning to affect your day to day life, don’t leave it untreated. Contact us at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates today to find out if our spine surgery New York is right for you! Our team will assess your condition and develop an appropriate course of action that works for you.