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If you turn to the side and your back, rather your spine, appears to look like an “S” or a
“C,” then it is time to check if scoliosis may be the reason. A normal spine should look
like a nice, straight “I.” However, if there appears to be come curves, it is likely that you
have scoliosis.

Simply put, scoliosis is a disease in which the spine curves in an irregular way. These
curves are a result from the bones twisting against and with each other, forming the “C”
or “S” shape.

Unfortunately, scoliosis is around two times more likely to occur in girls than boys.
Typically, scoliosis will form during the first seven years of a child’s life, however, it can
form during the teenage and adult years, too.

There are a variety of factors to take into consideration when trying to pinpoint what
causes scoliosis. To name just a few possible causes of scoliosis, spine deformities that
are either existent at birth or those formed from other conditions, cerebral palsy, genetic
conditions, muscular dystrophy, tumors and more. Though there are many possible
causes, roughly 80% of those diagnosed with scoliosis have no identified cause.
Scoliosis can be hereditary, meaning if an individual has developed scoliosis, their
chances of having children who will also have scoliosis is much more likely. As to
whether the scoliosis will be as severe, there has not been a correlation made to
determine that theory.

When diagnosing scoliosis, there are four possible types that an individual could have.
These four types are degenerative, congenital, adolescent idiopathic and
neuromuscular. Degenerative scoliosis is common in older adults, as this type usually
occurs due to aging, when the spine weakens, and arthritis sets in. Congenital scoliosis
forms while a child is still in utero, normally between the third to sixth weeks. In this
type, the spine curves because of abnormal formations in the vertebras. The most
known and common type of scoliosis is adolescent idiopathic. This type of scoliosis
often forms during the early childhood to early teen years, when children go through
growth spurts. This type specifically is what is seen in more girls than boys. The fourth
kind of scoliosis is neuromuscular. This type of scoliosis happens as a result of children
developing conditions such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophies and other spinal
problems.

There are many symptoms that you can be on the lookout for when trying to determine
if you or someone you know may have have scoliosis. Some of these symptoms
include, a raised hip, leaning body (to one side), waist or rib cages appear to be at
different heights than the opposite sides, or your shoulders seem to be uneven with
each other. If any or all of these symptoms are present, there is a good chance that a
form of scoliosis may be the problem.

After evaluating the symptoms, a doctor may perform an exam which includes X-rays,
possible CT scans, MRI’s and/or a spinal radiograph. The angle at which your spine
curves will be measured, and the doctor will determine whether it is a normal curve or a
curve for concern. Depending on factors such as age, angle of curve and other things,
treatment may vary, but a common form of treatment is usually a back brace. If the case
is more extreme, surgery may be required to correct the scoliosis.