Scoliosis and Kyphosis Correction (Spinal Deformity)
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature or deformation of the spine. A back which is bent sideways (from side to side) is called Scoliosis, while the back bent from back to front is called Kyphosis. Patients with Scoliosis or Kyphosis suffer great difficulty due to such deformity which may also cause pain as the nerves coming out of their spinal cord may be pressed.
Under condition of Scoliosis, the spine can depict a curve in one of the three ways:
- A single curve to the left (shaped like letter C), which is called Levoscoliosis
- A single curve to the right (shaped like a backwards letter C), which is called Dextroscoliosis
- Two curves (shaped like the letter S)
Scoliosis generally develops in children and teens in the age group of 10-18 years. It can be detected through various visible signs like curvature of the spine and asymmetry of body parts like shoulders, waistline and hips. Mild curvature of spine (less than 20 degrees) mostly requires monitoring and observation. Further treatment is rarely needed. While in cases of curvature exceeding 20 degrees, non-surgical and surgical treatments may be needed to prevent further deformity. Preventing severe curvature is important for physical appearance and health of the patient. If a curve is allowed to grow till 70 to 90 degrees, patients may suffer breathing and heart problems.
Signs of Scoliosis
Adam's Forward Bend Test, in which the individual bends from the waist as if touching the toes, helps observe one or more of the following signs of scoliosis:
- One shoulder is higher than the other
- One shoulder blade sticks out more than the other
- One side of the rib cage appears higher than the other
- One hip appears higher or more prominent than the other
- The waist appears uneven
- The body tilts to one side
- One leg may appear shorter than the other
Scoliosis surgery for adolescents is only recommended in case of curves greater than 40 to 45 degrees with continued progress. While for most other patients, it is recommended if the curve is more than 50 degrees. Surgery can not only correct the curvature by upto 50% but also prevents further progression of the spine deformation. A Scoliosis surgery involves two approaches - a posterior approach (from the back of the spine) and an anterior approach (from the front of the spine). Accordingly, the surgery is recommended to the patient based on the type and location of his/her curve.
The Spine Clinic surgeons are the first to use special guidance system: Pediguard , one which guides proper placement of screws in the deformed vertebra of patients with scoliosis.This decreases the risk of neurological deficits, operative time and improves surgical outcome in patients with scoliosis.