The abnormal curvature of the spine is caused by a condition known as scoliosis. The spine can curve either to the left or right and may affect any part of the spine. Most people with scoliosis suffer abnormal curvatures in the chest or lower region of the spine
In many cases, children are affected more as scoliosis tends to occur while their bodies are forming and growing. If the condition is treated early, the damage can be limited, but left untreated can cause more damaging health problems to the lungs, heart and pelvic area.
There are several symptoms of scoliosis for parents to be aware of. Early recognition can lead to successful treatment and a return to a normal spine and bone growth. Here are some common symptoms to be aware of:
In babies, scoliosis can be indicated by a bulging of the chest
A noticeable different between both shoulder heights
Ribs can be at different heights, not regular
Protrusion of one shoulder blade
Shoulder heights are different
Different leg lengths
Different leg lengths
For babies, the signs can include a bulging on either side of the chest
Measuring the leg lengths can give you an idea too, different leg lengths can be a sign of scoliosis
Forms of scoliosis treatment available
As scoliosis is a very serious condition that can cause severe spine problems throughout the patient’s life, there are no temporary treatments. In most cases, bracing can reduce and allow the spine to grow properly and become realigned:
Braces for the spine tend to be the first form of treatment for scoliosis that is noticed in children. Although most children do not like the braces, they can be very helpful.
With a brace, the success depends on how often the brace is worn. Most spine specialists will advise children with scoliosis to wear the brace all the time, day and night. The brace will be worn until the bones stop growing. The doctor involved will check the child’s growth patterns and monitor their height. Once the bones have stopped growing, the brace does not have to be worn anymore.
For scoliosis treatment, there are two different types of spine braces that can be used. The first brace is the most common, the underarm brace. This brace is shaped to fit the body and can be worn under the clothes in many cases without being seen.
Another type of brace is the Milwaukee brace, which is a full-torso brace. The brace is strapped to the chest and also has a rest for the neck and chin. A flat bar runs across the chest with two flat bars on the back to help maintain spine.
2. Surgical treatment for Scoliosis:
Surgery is only chosen in the more severe cases or if the brace is not preventing the condition from worsening. Surgery for scoliosis patients will involve spinal fusion procedures, where the vertebrae are fused together to prevent them from moving independently. The surgery will also involve placing either bone or bone-like material in between the vertebrae as well as metal rods and screws to hold the spine straight while the bones fuse together.
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Author: Philipp SchoeffmannThis author has published 3 articles so far.