During adolescence, children experience developmental changes in their bodies. Unfortunately, not all of it is for the better, because health conditions such as adolescent scoliosis are likely to develop as their bodies evolve. Treating them immediately will prevent complications from occurring.
The key to an effective remedy is knowing what you are dealing with. With this article, we will tackle the common types of scoliosis, which are apparent among young adults.
Common Types of Adolescent Scoliosis: Causes and Symptoms to Look Out For
Each type of adolescent scoliosis demands different attention and care from the experts. There are four common types of scoliosis observed in growing children:
- Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
- Congenital Scoliosis
- Neuromuscular Scoliosis
- Syndromic Scoliosis
The causes and symptoms of these conditions will be explained further in the next sections:
Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis is the prevalent type observed in most patients. Although it can only cause minor inconvenience, extreme cases might call for braces or surgery to prevent worse consequences.
The true cause of idiopathic scoliosis is still unclear, hence its name. Some studies explore the history of scoliosis reoccurring among family members. However, scientists are still unsure which genes are causing scoliosis to be passed onto the next generation.
Idiopathic scoliosis can be diagnosed by a doctor through a thorough physical examination. The doctor will notice that the shoulder and waistline is uneven. An x-ray will be necessary to confirm additional details about the disease.
Congenital scoliosis is the condition in which scoliosis is developed around the child’s adolescent stage, caused by bone deformities at birth.
While the bone forms in the womb during pregnancy, there are instances when bone deformation such as the following occurs:
- Partial formation of the bones
- Incorrect separation of the bones
- Incomplete count of the bones developed in the spine
- Abnormal formation of vertebral bones
Due to the asymmetry that these deformations bring, scoliosis may develop later during the child’s adolescence.
Aside from the usual symptoms of scoliosis, such as tilted shoulders and waistline, prominent ribs on one side, and unusual rotation of the head, patients with congenital scoliosis may also experience weak coordination caused by damaged nerves.
Neuromuscular scoliosis is another common type of vertebral deformity among teens. Unlike idiopathic scoliosis, neuropathic scoliosis has a known origin. It is also more severe than the former because diagnosed patients can lose their ability to walk in some cases.
The primary cause of neuromuscular scoliosis is associated with neurological problems. It can also be affected by the following ailments:
- Muscular dystrophy
- Spinal cord injury
- Spina bifida
- Cerebral palsy
- Musculoskeletal tumors
To see if your child has acquired neuromuscular scoliosis, watch out for the following signs:
- Inability to sit properly
- Change in position and posture
- Need for seating support
- Uneven shoulder and buttock height
Once you notice these indications, consult a physician immediately to prevent further discomfort.
Syndromic scoliosis is associated with the symptoms of other syndromic diseases. Scoliosis can also be present in the initial stages of another syndrome.
Some of the syndromic illnesses can cause scoliosis are:
- Down’s Syndrome
- Marfan Syndrome
- Angelman Syndrome
- Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
Different symptoms might reveal itself depending on the preexisting syndrome that the patient has.
Receiving Treatment for Adolescent Scoliosis
Treatment of the many kinds of adolescent scoliosis can be either of the three: observation, bracing, surgery.
For curvature angles less than 25 degrees, careful observation is key to prevent further curvature. When the diagnosis is between 25 and 45-degree angles, wearing a brace is recommended. Surgery is advised for patients with more than 45-degree angle of deformation.
Our doctors and staff at Scoliosis & Spine Associates have the right expertise to prepare appropriate treatment and prevent further complications due to scoliosis. If you are looking for a spine specialist, set up an appointment with us now.