Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine (deformation) that affects 2% of the population. The disorder can be congenital (present at birth), but often it is not diagnosed until adulthood. Scoliosis is caused by spinal degeneration or a curvature from childhood which worsens over time. The condition can present observable symptoms such as uneven shoulders, an elevated hip, or protruding shoulder blades. These symptoms are usually not painful, and a diagnostic exam is often the only way the condition is diagnosed.
A consultation with a knowledgeable orthopedic doctor who is familiar with the unique characteristics of scoliosis would offer the best medical expertise and solution. Unnatural spine curvature (adult and pediatric) is a specialty of the Los Angeles Spine Group, and numerous patients have resumed active lifestyles and mobility with the help of our orthopedic back experts. Dr. Khurana has access to the most advanced diagnostic and treatment resources from his state of the art spinal care facility, and with his experience, has helped patients benefit from various spine disorders and back conditions.
How Scoliosis Impacts Your Life
If a scoliosis patient is suffering from back pain, prescribed medicine is usually the first step of treatment. Doctors often recommend regular exercise as a way to prevent scoliosis from worsening and to help strengthen the core muscles that support the back. In moderate or severe cases (in which there is a risk of the curve worsening), surgery is usually required to correct the condition.
Risk factors affecting severity of scoliosis include:
- Curve size – Larger curves tend to worsen
- Curve location and shape – Curves in the upper back worsen more often than curves in the lower back
Spinal deformity can force the spine to rotate inward, and when this happens, the ribs will crowd together, causing pain and breathing difficulties. Please visit the scoliosis page on WebMD to learn more about the condition and associated treatment options.
Treatment Options for Scoliosis
Treatment for scoliosis depends on the severity of the curve. For adults with mild scoliosis, doctors recommend routine physical exams to monitor curve progression and treat the patient with pain killers if needed. In severe cases, surgery is used to stabilize the spine and reduce the curve through the implantation of metal rods, screws, or wires. Additionally, spinal fusion surgery may also be used to correct and treat spinal curvature.