Scoliosis is a spinal deformity defined as an abnormal curvature of the spine, usually in an “S” or “C” shape. While 80% of scoliosis cases are idiopathic or have no definite cause, medical advancements can treat scoliosis patients so they can lead healthy lives. This article will discuss how scoliosis may be treated through both surgical and non-surgical modalities, and how scoliosis may be diagnosed through an e-Consultation.
Surgical Operation for Scoliosis
A surgical operation is usually reserved for scoliosis patients with a curvature degree of over 40 degrees. However, surgery may also be an option for patients who feel like their scoliosis causes them discomfort and hinders them from living a normal life.
Spinal fusion is the traditional procedure done for scoliosis, where doctors will fuse a patient’s vertebrae together using bone graft, rods, and screws. This keeps your spine straight and in place as it solidifies into one solid bone. Some advantages of having a surgical operation for scoliosis are:
- Reduction of pain: Through spinal fusion, the motion between the bones is eliminated. This motion is theorized to be the cause of pain for scoliosis patients.
- Prevention of overstretching: Spinal fusion can also keep the nerves, muscles, and ligaments surrounding the vertebrae from overstretching.
- Recovery of active lifestyle: Spinal fusion surgery has a high success rate, and most patients who recover from surgery are able to resume daily activities and even play recreational sports.
Non-surgical Treatments for Scoliosis
Non-surgical treatments are prescribed for patients with less severe scoliosis. Among these alternative treatments include:
- Bracing: This is the most common form of non-surgical scoliosis treatment, especially for patients who are still growing and whose curvature is between 25 to 50 degrees. While bracing will not straighten the spine, this treatment will be able to prevent further curvature. Bracing is also more effective for cases which were detected earlier.
- Spinal injections: Sometimes, scoliosis can cause a patient pain or numbness as it puts pressure on the nerves in and around the spine. Steroids or anesthetics injected into the back may serve as a short-term solution.
- Physical therapy: For patients who opt to commit to physical therapy, they can expect exercises customized for their individual curve. These exercises are also designed to strengthen and balance the back muscles of the patient.
Diagnosing Scoliosis Through e-Consultation
Signs of scoliosis can easily be seen and identified over an e-Consultation.
An e-Consultation is a rising healthcare trend where doctors can check-up on their patients through online platforms. If a patient is suspected to have scoliosis, they may send a photo of their back to the doctor to check for a curvature. A doctor may also video call a patient so a patient can demonstrate how symmetrical their shoulders and waist are, based on how they bend.
To learn more about e-Consultations, scoliosis, and other spine conditions, talk to us at the Scoliosis and Spine Associates. With more than 50 years of experience in spinal health, our patients are guaranteed a satisfactory patient experience. We also offer e-Consultation for out of state and international patients.