Scoliosis Overview  

Scoliosis is a term that refers to a patient’s spine being curved side to side. Although the deformity is actually three-dimensional, the spine of an individual with significant scoliosis can resemble either an “S” or a “C”.

Scoliosis is a term that refers to a patient’s spine being curved side to side.  Although the deformity is actually three-dimensional, the spine of an individual with significant scoliosis can resemble either an “S” or a “C”. We have seen and successfully treated this condition throughout Dallas, Irving, Red Oak, Plano, Southlake, Grapevine, Colleyville, Duncanville and throughout the DFW metroplex.

Causes

Scoliosis is typically classified as either congenital, meaning there are vertebral anomalies presents from birth, idiopathic, meaning that the cause is unknown, or secondary to another condition, such as cerebral palsy or other neuromuscular diseases.

Approximately 2/3rd of scoliosis case are idiopathic, with about 15% of cases congenital and 10% due to neuromuscular disease.

Idiopathic scoliosis can be subdivided further depending on the age at which it presents, and include:

  •  Infantile
  • Juvenile
  • Adolescent

Symptoms

Most cases of scoliosis we have see at our Dallas, Irving, Red Oak and Plano locations are benign in nature, and are not associated with any type of pain.  The physical signs of scoliosis include uneven muscular on the spine, rib or shoulder blade prominence, uneven collarbones, hips, arms or legs.  Only in severe cases of scoliosis will the patient suffer from diminishing lung capacity that can restrict activities of daily living.

Diagnosis

The first hint of scoliosis can appear during a routine pediatric physical examination, in which the patient is asked to bend forward at their hips as far as possible, known as the Adams forward bending test.  If scoliosis is suspected, weight-bearing PA scoliosis films are taken to assess the scoliosis and lordosis/kyphosis.

Management

Options to treat scoliosis include observation, physical therapy, or bracing.  Braces that are used to treat scoliosis include an underarm TLSO, such as a Boston brace that is usually worn 16-22 hours a day.  The effectiveness of the brace usually depends on the degree and flexibility of the curve, along with the amount of time that the patient wears it.

Surgery

Surgery is usually recommended for scoliotic curves with a high likelihood for progression, which is usually greater than 45-50 degree curves.  Another consideration would be curves that are cosmetically unpleasing to adult patients.  Consideration for neuromuscular patients with scoliosis include curves that interfere with sitting and care of the patient. Of course the first step to a proper diagnosis is to schedule an appointment with one of our spine specialists at any of our spine care centers in Dallas, Irving, Red Oak or Plano.

Two main types of surgery to treat this condition include:

  • Anterior Fusion
  • Posterior Fusion

If you have any questions about treatment options available to you please schedule an appointment at any of our office locations conveniently located to Dallas, Irving, Red Oak, Plano, Southlake, Grapevine, Colleyville and Duncanville.

Schedule an Appointment