Why the curvature of the spine

Written by: Dr. Luis Álvarez Galovich
Edited by: Top Doctors®

The word comes from the Greek skoliosis scoliosis, which refers to a twisted condition (skolios = crooked), and it was used by the Greek physicians Hippocrates and Galen.

The time of year when most scoliosis is diagnosed in summer, when children get bathing suit and parents notice some prominence on the back and raising one shoulder, and go to the specialist in traumatology .


What is scoliosis?

column curvature of scoliosis The column is the structure that keep us balanced and aligned position. Its shape is straight in the anterior plane, and with different curves (cervical and lumbar lordosis and kyphosis) in the lateral plane.

When the spine is twisted and bent to one side or another, acquiring an aspect of "s" or "c", we refer to it as a scoliosis. In most cases (more than 80%), the cause of the disorder is unknown and is called idiopathic scoliosis. In other cases it can cause different diseases such as cerebral palsy, neurological diseases or muscular dystrophy and connective tissue diseases such as Marfan's disease.

Furthermore, cases in which some children are born with congenital problems in the development of the vertebrae and eventually develop scoliotic curves are given.

Finally, the different degenerative changes that occur with age can also be a cause of adult scoliosis.

However, it is important to remember that it has been clearly demonstrated that scoliosis is not related to some beliefs, such as the practice of some asymmetric sports, with the burden of heavy books in a backpack, bad posture when studying or sit, or asymmetry in leg length.


Consequences of scoliosis

The medical problem that causes scoliosis depends on the extent of the deformity and can cause physical and emotional problems.

Among the physical problems is pain. It is very important to remember that scoliosis as such does not cause pain, except when it occurs in adulthood and is associated with significant degenerative changes. Those with pain associated with scoliosis should be studied to rule out other causes associated with the pain. Long-term large-scale scoliotic curves may cause problems resulting deficit in respiratory and cardiac capacity.

The most emotional issue in many patients is the aesthetic concern. The deformity itself can cause the presence of a high shoulder, chest asymmetry, translation of the trunk or the presence of a rib prominence.


Diagnosis of scoliosis

The diagnosis of scoliosis is based on physical examination. Usually specializes in Pediatrics or the parents who notice an asymmetry in the trunk, shoulders or waist. When the child is flexed forward and a prominence is evident, examination by a specialist and performing a complete radiological study is needed.


Treating Scoliosis

Treatment of scoliosis should be individualized and always depend on the extent of the deformity and bone age of the child. The ability of the column to advance their deformity depends on these two factors.

The column, usually stops with a fixed deformity if the deformity does not exceed 45 ° (depending on location) and if finished bone growth. That is why a curve of 30 degrees in a 11 year old girl tends to have a higher risk of evolving and require surgical treatment curve 40 in a girl of 16 years.

The treatment is based on three pillars: observation, use of corsets and surgery.

There is no rehabilitation treatment that has shown to reduce spinal deformity. However, its use is recommended to maintain a flexible and in the best conditions column.

The observation allows us to know the pattern that follows a curve, to check if you have a tendency to progress or remain stable. a review every 6 months is recommended.

Wearing a corset is the only valid treatment that has proven to be able to contain the increase of the deformity. Its aim is to prevent scoliotic curves worsen and is indicated in curves from the 25th.

The corrective surgical treatment is the last option, once the conservative treatment has failed and it is clear that the deformity can cause functional problems.

In any case, the purpose of both surgical and nonsurgical treatments is to get the degree of deformity occurs no restrictions on activities of daily living.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Luis Álvarez Galovich
Orthopaedic Surgery

Dr. Alvarez Galovich is an expert in orthopedic surgery and traumatology. He graduated in Spain and completed his training in the United States. Specializing in spine surgery, the doctor is Head of the Pathology Service Column FJD since 2009. He combines his work as a professional specialty with his work as a teacher.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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