While scoliosis can be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of most scoliosis is unknown.
What are the Sign and Symptoms of Scoliosis?
- One shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other
- Uneven Shoulders
- Uneven waist
- One hip higher than the other
If a scoliosis curve gets worse, the spine will also rotate or twist, in addition to curving side to side. This may manifest in the ribs on one side of the body to sticking out farther than on the other side.
In severe cases, it may cause compression of the viscera as well as body disfigurement
What is the incidence of Scoliosis
7 Times more prevalent in females
- Age. Signs and symptoms typically begin during the growth spurt that occurs just prior to puberty.
- Sex. Although both boys and girls develop mild scoliosis at about the same rate, girls have a much higher risk of the curve worsening and requiring treatment.
- Family history. Scoliosis can run in families, but most children with scoliosis don’t have a family history of the disease.
What are the Complications of Scoliosis?
- Lung and heart damage. In severe scoliosis, the rib cage may press against the lungs and heart, making it more difficult to breathe and harder for the heart to pump.
- Back problems. Adults who had scoliosis as children are more likely to have chronic back pain than are people in the general population.
- Appearance. As scoliosis worsens, it can cause more noticeable changes — including uneven hips and shoulders, prominent ribs, and a shift of the waist and trunk to the side. Individuals with scoliosis often become self-conscious about their appearance.
While there are guidelines for mild, moderate and severe curves, the decision to begin treatment is always made on an individual basis. Factors to be considered include:
- Sex. Girls have a much higher risk of progression than do boys.
- Severity of curve. Larger curves are more likely to worsen with time.
- Curve pattern. Double curves, also known as S-shaped curves, tend to worsen more often than do C-shaped curves.
- Location of curve. Curves located in the center (thoracic) section of the spine worsen more often than do curves in the upper or lower sections of the spine.
- Maturity. If a child’s bones have stopped growing, the risk of curve progression is low. That also means that braces have the most effect in children whose bones are still growing.
When is Bracing required?
Most braces are worn day and night. A brace’s effectiveness increases with the number of hours a day it’s worn.
Braces are discontinued after the bones stop growing. This typically occurs:
- About two years after girls begin to menstruate
- Roughly when there are no further changes in height
However, modern braces have improved and now resembles belts and straps. This improves the appearance, comfortability and compliance of the patient.
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