When your child has a posture problem, you naturally want to fix it. If their shoulders look uneven, it’s likely your child has scoliosis. This spinal disorder affects two to three percent of Americans, most of whom are adolescents. If untreated, scoliosis deteriorates your spine to the point that it affects your internal organs, such as your lungs and heart. Since time matters, search for an experienced spinal doctor like Dr. Branko Skovrlj, a neurosurgeon at NU-Spine in Edison, NJ. This spine specialist uses a patient-centred approach for effective spinal treatment. Call today for a quick diagnosis and a life-changing corrective spinal treatment.
What Is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a medical condition that causes a sideways curvature of the spine. This spinal disorder affects people of all ages, but statistics show that adolescents are at a greater risk of this abnormal curvature. While most cases of this spinal disorder are mild, the deformity gets worse if not treated. Your spinal doctor classifies scoliosis with no known cause based on age:
- Infantile idiopathic scoliosis affects children younger than three years old.
- Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis affects those between the ages of three and 10.
- Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis affects people between 10 and 18 years of age.
- Adult idiopathic scoliosis appears in adults older than 18 years old.
If you or your child suffer from back pain that interferes with day-to-day activities, talk to a spine specialist like Dr. Skovrlj at NU-Spine, best in class spine surgery center in Edison, NJ. Dr. Skovrlj and his qualified team treat all manner of spinal disorders using advanced medical procedures.
How Does Scoliosis Spine Compare to a Normal Spine?
A normal spine, as seen from the back, is a straight line from top to bottom. The normal curvature of the spine, called the lordosis, occurs in the spine as seen from the side: curving inward down the neck, outward around the back, inward at the waist and then out again at the hips. Scoliosis adds a sideways bend in your mid-back. Spine doctors categorize the different types of this disorder based on the cause, including:
- Congenital scoliosis happens when the spine doesn’t develop properly before birth.
- Degenerative scoliosis, also called de novo scoliosis, occurs among older adults, most commonly in the lumbar spine. It occurs as a natural consequence of aging, which leads to degeneration of joints and discs in the spine.
- Thoracogenic scoliosis develops due to radiation treatment of the spine to treat spinal tumors or surgery to correct a congenital heart defect.
- Neuromuscular scoliosis happens in your upper back and neck. It involves various disorders of the brain, spinal cord and muscular systems — such as cerebral palsy, Chiari malformation, spinal cord trauma or spinal muscular atrophy can cause neuromuscular scoliosis.
- Syndromic scoliosis appears when there’s an underlying disorder — such as muscular dystrophy, arthrogryposis, spina bifida, Marfan syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
Some risk factors include being female, being between nine and 15 years old and having a family history of the disorder. Your spine specialist at NU-Spine in northern New Jersey review your medical history to diagnose the cause of the scoliosis to offer the most appropriate treatment.
What Are the Symptoms of Scoliosis?
It’s difficult to detect this spinal deformity as it starts to develop because there’s no pain associated with the condition in the beginning. With time, however, symptoms and problems arise, including:
- Obvious stiffness of the spine
- Fatigue due to muscle strain
- Uneven shoulders, with one shoulder blade sticking out
- Low back pain from the pressure on the spinal cord
- Posture problems, including the entire body leaning toward one side
- Noticeable physical abnormalities, such as an off-center head or hips sitting at an angle
- Shortness of breath as the spine pushes on the rib cage
- Chest pain
- An inability to stand upright
- Walking or standing problems
- A noticeable humpback
These symptoms may look mild, but they can cripple your life as they worsen. The pressure on the spinal cord can cause pain and serious damage to the internal organs, including the heart and lungs. At NU-Spine, your scoliosis specialist has the training, knowledge and experience to offer scoliosis treatment in both children and adults.
Can a Scoliosis Spine Be Repaired?
After examining you, listening to your history with the condition and maybe using state-of-the-art imagery, Dr. Skovrlj reaches a correct diagnosis. Then he recommends a scoliosis treatment based on your overall health and the severity of the condition. For minor cases, he may suggest non-surgical procedures, such as:
- Physical therapy, which includes stretching
- Exercises to strengthen back muscles
- Physical devices, such as a thoracolumbosacral orthosis back brace
When scoliosis surgery becomes necessary, Dr. Skovrlj weighs the options between spinal fusion surgery and implanting a device that physically straightens the spine. These are known as spine-based or rib-based systems, and they use implanted rods, hooks and screws to reverse the abnormal curvature.
In northern New Jersey or New York City, NU-Spine is the place to go for scoliosis treatment. Dr. Skovrlj and his team have the experience and tools to treat a wide range of spinal disorders, including scoliosis. Contact the practice today for an early diagnosis, as catching this condition early can make all the difference.Page Updated on May 23, 2022 by Dr. Branko Skovrlj (Neurosurgeon / Spine surgeon) of NU-Spine: The Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Institute in New Jersey