Whether you are an adolescent or an adult, the experts at the Scoliosis & Spine Tumor Center will formulate a customized plan to help correct or slow the progression of scoliosis so you can get back to your life.
Scoliosis is the presence of abnormal sideways (lateral) curves and longitudinal rotations of the spine. The condition — not a disease — can be accompanied by back pain, muscle tightness and fatigue, along with restricted lung capacity and possible neurological symptoms such as nerve pain, weakness, numbness and tingling.
Scoliosis has three general causes:
- Congenital (present at birth) scoliosis is due to a problem with the formation of the spine bones (vertebrae) or fused ribs during development in the womb.
- Neuromuscular scoliosis is caused by problems such as poor muscle control or muscle weakness, or paralysis due to diseases such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida and polio.
- Idiopathic scoliosis is scoliosis of unknown cause. It appears in a previously straight spine.
Idiopathic scoliosis in adolescents is the most common type of scoliosis. Some people may be prone to a curving of the spine, and most cases occur in girls.
Scoliosis is typically diagnosed during a physical exam, which includes evaluation of posture, shoulder balance and leg lengths. A forward bending test helps the physician define the magnitude and flexibility of the curve. Other tests for scoliosis may include:
- Measure with a scoliometer (a device for measuring the curvature of the spine)
- Spine X-ray
- MRI (if exam reveals neurologic changes or if there is something unusual in the X-ray)
If the curve measures more than 10 degrees, it is considered to be a true scoliotic curve.
The available options for treating and coping successfully with scoliosis have never been greater. The goal of treatment at the Scoliosis & Spine Tumor Center is to provide the most appropriate and least invasive care. Appropriate treatment depends on a number of factors:
- Severity and rigidity of the curve
- Cause of the scoliosis
- The expected course of the condition, and the patient's
- Overall health
- Medical history
- Tolerance for specific medications, procedures and therapies
Treatment options include:
- Watchful waiting
- Exercise and physical therapy
- Anti-inflammatory medications
Regular exercise, weight management and smoking cessation are almost always recommended.
In cases where the curvature is severe or does not respond to bracing, surgery may be recommended. At Texas Health Plano's Scoliosis & Spine Tumor Center, experienced surgeons on the medical staff perform surgery using the most appropriate innovative and least invasive spine surgery techniques'. Less invasive surgery offers more cosmetically acceptable scars, a shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery.
The medical director of the center, Isador Lieberman, M.D., is internationally recognized for advancing the use of minimally invasive spinal surgery techniques to treat scoliosis. Plus surgeons at Texas Health Plano are supported by a specialized operating room team.
Surgery for scoliosis involves correcting and balancing the curve and fusing the bones in the curve together. The bones are held in place with one or two metal rods held down with hooks and screws until the bone knit themselves solid.
Rehabilitation for surgical patients is designed to help them get back to their lives as quickly as possible. With some of the most experienced and qualified therapists in the area, advanced facilities and personalized, one-on-one therapy sessions, Rehabilitation Services at Texas Health Plano provides a positive environment for meeting rehabilitation goals.