Scoliosis

Overview

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine. It makes the spine look a like an "S" or "C" rather than a straight "I". Scoliosis can cause the bones in the spine to turn so that one shoulder, scapula or hip appears to be higher than the other.

If not treated, scoliosis that exceeds 50° can become problematic long term. The curve can continue to become more pronounced and lead to diminished lung capacity as well as the development of restrictive lung disease. Of course, the disease, which is most common in children, can cause cosmetic concerns as well.

Orthopaedic specialists at the FHCH Sports Medicine Program are highly experienced in treating scoliosis and will explore a number of non-surgical and surgical options for correcting the issue.

 

Causes of Scoliosis

While scoliosis can run in families, the exact cause is unknown. What is known is that scoliosis can occur at any age. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis occurs after the age of 10 and is the most common type of scoliosis. Boys and girls can both get scoliosis but girls are more likely to get the progressive scoliotic curve that requires treatment.

 

Treatment

If the scoliosis has caused a spinal curvature between 25° and 45° your doctor may recommend a brace. There are several types of braces, most being underarm models. The brace will need to be worn daily - the length of time will be determined by your physician. Wearing a brace doesn't affect your participation in sporting activities as the brace can be removed and the time to wear it adjusted to allow for activities.

If you have questions about scoliosis or want to make an appointment, please contact one of our Patient Care Coordinators and they'll be happy to assist you.