scoliosis, spine specialist singapore

Figure: X-ray showing scoliosis (curved spine)

Are You Suffering From These Symptoms of Scoliosis?

Some Possible Associated Symptoms with Scoliosis include(s):

  • A hump present in the upper or lower back
  • Asymmetry of the chest wall
  • Shoulders or the pelvis are not level
  • A patient with scoliosis might notice that one hand brushes against their hips while walking while the other hand does not
  • Numbness or tingling of the legs
  • Weakness of the legs
What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis refers to a medical condition where the spine is bent or curved to the side. Scoliosis can sometimes be seen in young children but more commonly seen in the adolescents. The commonest type of scoliosis in the young is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis or AIS. It often involves the thoracic spine and the curve is noticed in the mid-back. A hump on one side of the back if often noticed by either the patient or their parents.

In the elderly, scoliosis often involves the lumbar spine (lower spine). This occurs due to degeneration of the spine and thus, this type of scoliosis is called degenerative scoliosis. In other cases, scoliosis can sometimes be secondary to other medical conditions including tumours.

What are the Treatments Available for Scoliosis?

Treatment for scoliosis depends on the type and degree of scoliosis. For adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), the curve(s) can often be observed if they are mild. Progression of the scoliosis curves occur before and during the growth spurt and starts to slow done as one becomes older and is reaching skeletal maturity. In patients with AIS where the curves are moderate, bracing may sometimes be done for treatment of scoliosis in order to minimise progression of the curves during the rapidly growing phase. Once the patient stops growing, the brace is discontinued. In patients with rapidly changing or large curves, surgical treatment of scoliosis may sometimes be required. Multiple screws are often used to straighten the curve and maintain correction. Surgical treatment of scoliosis can result in good correction of the curve.

Patients with degenerative scoliosis often present with back pain. Treatment of degenerative scoliosis often involves medications and physiotherapy. In some patients, degenerative scoliosis cause compression of the nerves in the spine. In some of these cases, surgical treatment of degenerative scoliosis may involve decompression laminectomy alone (where the nerve is freed) or a decompression laminectomy with spinal fusion (where the nerve is freed and 2 of the spinal bones are joined together using screws). Surgical treatment of degenerative scoliosis can give good results in selected patients.

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