Scoliosis, a Common – and Correctable – form of Spinal Deformity

Scoliosis is a spinal malformation characterized by an abnormal sideways, or lateral curvature of the spine. It is one of the most common forms of spinal deformity, affecting about two to four percent of the population. But the majority of people affected show no noticeable symptoms of scoliosis, and the condition may go undetected for years. In children, persistent leaning to one side or an elevated hip are signposts of scoliosis. As adolescent growth begins, affected youngsters often develop a noticeable lateral curve of the spine during the early teenage years. Scoliosis may also be seen in shoulder asymmetry, with one shoulder higher than the other, due to the spinal column’s abnormal curvature. A screening by a spinal medical specialist and X-rays revealing the characteristic spinal images of scoliosis can help make a definitive diagnosis.

Scoliosis Effects and Treatment

Scoliosis itself does not usually cause pain, but it may occur in conjunction with many neuromuscular disorders, including cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. In otherwise healthy children, scoliosis can cause sciatica, as the abnormal spinal curvature can impinge on the sciatic nerve at the base of the spine. Treatment of scoliosis can include scoliosis exercises, physical therapy and use of a scoliosis brace, which helps prevent the condition from progressing during a youngster’s strong growth years, until skeletal maturity is achieved. Bracing is considered the only effective non-surgical form of treatment for scoliosis. Surgery for scoliosis typically involves placing metal implants that brace the spine internally, and a new generation of implants has improved the surgical outcome for many patients. The physicians at New Jersey Spine Specialists have extensive experience treating scoliosis for people from Livingston, Maplewood and Bloomfield, and throughout Union, Morris and Essex Counties. If you live in the northern New Jersey region and seek effective solutions for this or other spinal problems, call or email us today to schedule a consultation with one of our board certified orthopedic surgeons.

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