More than 6 million people — 2% of the population in the United States — have scoliosis. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, patients with scoliosis make more than 600,000 doctor visits each year. At NeuroCare Partners, Mirza Baig, MD, offers scoliosis evaluations to patients of all ages, from pediatrics to adults. To learn more about scoliosis, call the office in The Woodlands, Texas, or make an appointment online today.
Your spine is made up of a curved stack of small bones called vertebrae. The natural curves of your spine help position your head over your pelvis and work as shock absorbers to distribute mechanical stress when you move.
Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of your spine. There are four types of scoliosis, including:
This develops due to misshapen vertebrae and causes asymmetries in your body’s development. It’s generally diagnosed in infancy.
The causes of idiopathic scoliosis are unknown. It’s usually diagnosed around age 10, at the onset of adolescence, and gets worse with growth.
Conditions including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and muscular dystrophy cause weak and unbalanced muscles that lead to the development of problematic spinal curvature. This results in imbalance and breathing problems.
This occurs most frequently in your lower back as you age. It generally affects people age 65 and older and accompanies spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal). Spinal stenosis pinches your spinal nerves and makes it difficult for you to function normally.
In order to diagnose scoliosis, your provider at NeuroCare Partners looks for signs, including:
Your provider begins the standard scoliosis exam with the Adam's Forward Bend Test. For this test, you lean forward with your feet together and bend at your waist.
From this angle, your provider is able to identify any asymmetry in your trunk or spinal curvature. If they notice signs of scoliosis, they order X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans.
Depending on the severity, scoliosis is treated with observation, bracing, or surgery. Many children with scoliosis have a curve mild enough that it doesn't require treatment, so your provider continues to examine them every 4-6 months and observe any changes.
Bracing is effective for children who are still growing. If their curve is between 25 and 40 degrees, your provider may recommend a brace to prevent further progression. Studies show that when used with full compliance, braces are effective in stopping the curve progression in 80% of children.
If the curve is greater than 40 degrees and signs show further progression, your provider at NeuroCare Partners may recommend surgery. In addition to traditional surgical approaches, they are highly experienced in minimally invasive surgery, so you can rest assured you are in good hands.
If you have scoliosis, call or make an appointment online today with NeuroCare Partners today.