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 tumors.
General symptoms of scoliosis often include:
- 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
Before treatment, a thorough consultation is required to help accurately determine and diagnose the degree of your scoliosis.
Treatment for scoliosis depends on the type and degree of scoliosis. For milder cases, medication, physical therapy or a brace could help. In severe situations, surgical treatments may be required to correct the damage.