What Is Scoliosis And Is It Treatable?

What Is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a type of spine curvature that develops when your backbone (or spinal column) curves sideways. It usually first shows up during childhood or adolescence and is more common in girls than boys. It causes an imbalance in your rib cage and can reduce the space your heart needs to work. It also interferes with your nervous system’s ability to send signals about pain, weakness, or limb movement. It’s important to note that scoliosis is not always treatable. It can get worse with time, and in some cases, it may continue throughout adulthood. Treatment is aimed at relieving pain and preventing further complications.

How Is Scoliosis Diagnosed?

Doctors diagnose scoliosis by doing a physical exam of your child’s back, chest, pelvis, and legs. They may also check their muscles, reflexes, and the shape of their rib cage when they bend forward. X-rays and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) can help your doctor detect scoliosis. MRI can reveal the extent of the spinal curvature, how it is related to your child’s heart and lung function, and how it may be changing during and after treatment. The type of scoliosis your child has and their age will help the doctor decide what treatment is best for them.

How Is Scoliosis Treated?

A scoliosis diagnosis helps your doctor decide what treatment plan is best for you. Nonsurgical treatment options for scoliosis include observation, physical therapy, bracing and Mehta casting. If the curve is severe enough, spinal fusion surgery may be needed. Scoliosis surgery involves fusing the bones in your spine together, and metal rods, hooks or screws hold it in place. The goal is to correct scoliosis and improve your quality of life.