SCOLIOSIS

Description

  • abnormal twisting and curvature of the spine.

Symptoms

  1. a visibly curved spine
  2. one shoulder being higher than the other
  3. one shoulder or hip being more prominent than the other
  4. clothes not hanging properly
  5. a prominent ribcage
  6. a difference in leg lengths
  7. back pain

Causes

  1. cerebral palsy, a group of nervous system disorders that affect movement, learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking
  2. muscular dystrophy, a group of genetic disorders that results in muscle weakness
  3. birth defects that affect an infant’s spinal bones, such as spina bifida
  4. spinal injuries or infections
  5. Neuromuscular conditions, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy
  6. Birth defects affecting the development of the bones of the spine

Risk factors

  • age
  • gender
  • family history

Diagnostic Tests

  • physical exam
  • X-ray: uses radiation to create a picture of the spine
  • MRI: uses radio and magnetic waves to get a detailed picture of bones and tissue surrounding them
  • CT scan: X-rays taken at a variety of angles to get a 3D picture of the skeleton
  • Bone scan: a solution that is radioactive is injected into your blood. It will be concentrated in area of increased circulation, making spinal abnormalities easier for your doctor to see.

Treatments

  • observation
  • casting
  • bracing
  • Chiropractic manipulation
  • Electrical stimulation of muscles
  • Dietary supplements
  • decompression surgery – if a disc or bone is pressing down on a nerve, it can be removed to reduce the pressure on the nerve
  • spinal fusion surgery – where the position of the spine is improved using metal rods, plates and screws before being fused into place using bone grafts

Medication

  • paracetamol/ibuprofen
  • corticosteroids/local anaesthetics

Lifestyle Management

  • general exercise or participating in sports
  • A strong, supportive peer group can have a significant impact