Approximately three million men, women, and children are diagnosed with scoliosis each year in the United States. Life Orthopaedic & Spine Center offers thorough diagnostics and comprehensive care for scoliosis. If you’ve recently been diagnosed and are wondering where to go from here, the team at Life Orthopaedic can help. Book an appointment to sit down with a specialist and learn more. Online scheduling is available, or you can reach the office by phone to check appointment availability. We proudly serve Atlanta and conveniently located surrounding communities of Buckhead, Dunwoody, and South Atlanta areas.
Scoliosis is a common spine condition. According to the National Inpatient Sample, around 74,000 emergency room visits each year are due to scoliosis-related issues.
The defining characteristic of scoliosis is a curvature of the spine. This sideways curve usually develops just before puberty, when your body goes through a growth spurt. That’s why the condition is most commonly diagnosed during childhood.
Most scoliosis cases are mild, but severe scoliosis can be absolutely debilitating.
Scoliosis can be hard to detect, which is why it’s so important to schedule routine physical exams. Some of the more common symptoms include:
Researchers aren’t sure of the exact causes of scoliosis, but it’s believed that there is a genetic component. Additional causal factors include spinal infection or injury, birth defects, or certain neurological conditions.
If your primary care physician or your child’s pediatrician suspects you have scoliosis, you might be referred to an orthopaedic specialist. The diagnostic process includes a physical exam to look for signs of the condition.
A neurological exam follows, and checks for signs of numbness, muscle weakness, or abnormal reflexes. X-ray imaging shows the alignment of your spine and the degree of abnormal curvature. You might also need additional imaging to look for underlying conditions.
Treatment depends on the degree of spinal curvature and how it impacts your daily life. When a child is diagnosed with scoliosis, bracing is among the most common treatments. A medical brace can’t restore optimal spine positioning, but it can prevent further curvature from developing. Once a child’s bones are finished growing bracing is no longer necessary.
Surgery is another option and can prevent additional curving. Spinal fusion is one approach and works by connecting two or more vertebrae to reduce movement in that portion of your spine. A system of metal rods, screws, wires, and hooks hold the targeted bones in place while your body fuses the bone tissue together.
Don’t let a scoliosis diagnosis cause undue fear and anxiety. There are treatment options that can help, allowing you to live a full, active, and healthy life. Schedule an appointment online or by phone to get started.