National Scoliosis Awareness Month

7th June 4, 2016

Scoliosis is one of the most dangerous and disabling spinal diseases. It causes the spine to twist sideways and is seen during the growth spurt of the child mostly. Thousands of children and teenagers get affected by this bone disorder around the world every year. Even though the exact causes for this disease are not yet known its development is known to be related to certain other medical disorders, such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy.

Mostly, scoliosis is mild in nature but certain children may develop spinal deformities which may worsen with their natural growth. Severe form of scoliosis is highly disabling. An excessively deformed spine can also constrict the space in the chest (thorax) and affect the functioning levels of the lungs inside it.

Children with mild scoliosis are kept under constant and close observation, with regularly scheduled x-ray tests, to check the progress of the curve of the spine. In most cases, treatment might not be necessary and wearing a brace may stop further curving of the spine. However, severe forms of scoliosis need immediate and effective surgical treatment to stop the curving of the spine further as well as assist in straightening it as much as possible.

The cause for the severe form of scoliosis is not yet known however it is suspected to be a hereditary disorder (genetic) as it tends to run in families. The mild form of scoliosis may be caused by neuromuscular disorders (cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, etc), congenital (birth) defects that affect the spinal bone’s development as well as infections or injuries to the spine. The onset of scoliosis is also determined by the stage of growth spurt seen in the child. Girls have been found to be more at risk of developing of developing severe scoliosis.

Scoliosis of the spine is easily recognizable due to uneven shoulder heights in the child with one blade being more noticeable than the other. The waist also becomes uneven and one hip is seen to be higher than the other. If the scoliosis worsens then the spinal column begins to twist as well as curving sideways. This results in the ribs from one side being more prominent than the other side.

Most children affected with scoliosis may experience lung and heart damage as the rib cage often presses against the heart and the lungs, making it harder to breath and for the heart to function normally. If the scoliosis is left untreated as a child then the person may experience chronic (intense) back pain. Worsening scoliosis also causes the physical deformities to become more prominent, such as uneven shoulders and waist with prominent ribs on one side. This can also affect the person emotionally and mentally.

The diagnosis for scoliosis is initially performed with a detailed study of the patient’s medical history and family. The doctor will conduct a complete physical examination to check for the visible symptoms of the disorder. Neurological examination also helps the doctor to check for weakness in the muscles, abnormal reflexes and numbness. The doctor may also advise an x-ray imaging test to confirm the diagnosis as well as check to see if any other prevalent medical condition, or tumor, is causing the spinal deformity.

Most cases of mild scoliosis with less degree of curve in the spine will not require any form of treatment if the condition does not worsen. In case the condition worsens the doctor may suggest wearing a back-brace for a few months to stop the curving as well as to straighten the spine again.

The main factors that decide if the child needs treatment for mild or severe form of scoliosis are sex, the severity of the curve and the manner it is curving (S-shaped or C-shaped), the maturity level of the bone development as well as the location  of the curve.

The initial form of treatment for mild scoliosis is using braces. If the child is in the growing stages braces may often help to stop the curve from worsening. The braces are made from medical-grade plastic and are shaped to fit the body snugly which makes it almost-invisible under clothes.

However, in case the scoliosis is severe in form and the spinal curvature has worsened considerably, the doctor may advise surgical treatment to reduce the severity of the curvature as well as to prevent it from getting worse. Spinal fusion is the most common form of surgical procedure used to treat scoliosis of the spine. This surgery requires the doctor to connect the affected vertebra in the spine together consecutively so as to make them into one firm bone in the spinal column between the mobile vertebrae. The surgeon may use metal rods, plates, screws or pins to allow the bones to fuse (weld) together after placing a bone graft to help with the fusion.

It is advisable to get scoliosis treatment at the earliest in case curve in the spine or any of the other symptoms are seen in the child. Awareness about the condition is important to prevent the condition from worsening and having various physical and emotional complications arise out of it.

Travcure offers the best and most advanced scoliosis treatment in India. It is connected to the largest network of comprehensive multi-specialty hospitals and clinics all over India. This allows Travcure to provide the most efficient, modern and effective scoliosis treatment in India at the most affordable cost. Travcure is committed to raising awareness about scoliosis of the spine in order to allow children affected by it get affordable treatment in India and lead a normal and a healthy life.

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