Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine in which the vertebrae curve or twist sideways. The twisting is similar to the way one wrings out a wet towel, and the curvature may be very slight or very pronounced.
Although scoliosis is most common in adolescents, particularly in females, adults can also develop the condition, and some children are born with it (congenital scoliosis). In most cases, the cause is not known. In other cases, neuromuscular conditions, such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, may cause scoliosis.
Individuals with mild scoliosis may experience no symptoms as all.
Others have these common signs:
- Uneven shoulders
- One shoulder blade protrudes further than the other
- One hip is higher than the other
- Ribs protrude further on one side
Most of the time scoliosis is not painful. If there is pain, it is not usually caused by the curvature itself, but by stress and pressure on the discs, nerves, muscles, ligaments or facet joints in the spine.
If scoliosis is suspected, the skilled spine specialists at Lancaster Orthopedic Group will perform the latest diagnostic tests and minimally invasive procedures to treat and correct the condition.
For milder conditions, a back brace may help prevent the scoliosis from getting worse.
Surgical treatment of scoliosis may be indicated in order to prevent further progression of the curvature, to relieve discomfort, and to prevent further complications.