Scoliosis is the abnormal curvature of the spine, a disorder that most commonly appears during childhood. It is measured based on the severity of the curve, which can range from 10 degrees to 100 degrees or more. The condition is often left untreated unless pain and other symptoms have a significant impact on your quality of life.
At the Orlando Health Neuroscience Institute Spine Care Center scoliosis clinic, our multidisciplinary team uses the latest technologies, therapies, diagnostic tools and medications to treat the disorder in all its forms.
Our fellowship-trained neurosurgeons have the skills needed to treat the most complex spinal surgeries. We offer a range of services to meet your unique needs, including in-house rehabilitation, highly trained nurses and pain management specialists. We are also the region’s only Joint Commission-certified spine center of excellence for our spine surgery program.
Types of Scoliosis @accordionTitleTag.Name>
The most common form of scoliosis usually surfaces between the ages of 10 and 18. The spinal curve appears during rapid growth phases. The curve often slows when skeletal growth reaches maturity, though more severe curves may worsen during adulthood.
This type of scoliosis appears in adults due to the degeneration of discs, arthritis in the facet joints and the collapse (or wedging) of vertebrae. It often occurs in the lower back, causing numbness, back pain and shooting pain down the legs.
The spinal curve is caused when disorders of the brain, spinal cord and muscular system interfere with the body’s ability to maintain balance and alignment of the trunk and spine. Curves are more likely to continue progressing into adulthood.
There is no known cause for this type of scoliosis, which occurs when there is improper formation or separation of the vertebrae. Surgery is often required.
This kyphosis (a curve in the thoracic spine or upper back) occurs during a child’s growth phase. Vertebrae, which are normally rectangular, form as wedges, causing the upper spine to take a round, or hunchback, shape. This often results in poor posture and back pain.
Scoliosis also can be caused by a range of other factors, including surgeries meant to solve other back conditions, trauma, infection and tumors.
Our specialists will work with you to develop a care plan tailored to your needs. Treatment for scoliosis often is based upon the severity of symptoms and expectations for worsening of the condition. Treatment falls into three general categories:
There is no intervention, but repeated imaging is used over time to track the progression of the spinal curve.
The emphasis is on managing pain and symptoms. Your doctor may suggest physical therapy, both to maintain strength and relieve pain. Pain can be controlled through oral medication, epidural or nerve block injections. Acupuncture may also be recommended.
Surgical intervention may be necessary in some cases, though it is generally the last option that will be recommended. In some cases, there are minimally invasive options.
When To Consider Surgery @accordionTitleTag.Name>
There are several reasons why you and your team may decide that surgery is your best option, including:
Back and leg pain can become severe and have a significant impact on your quality of life.
With extreme curves, basic body functions (breathing and eating, for example) may be affected.
Rapid progression of curve
More severe curves are likely to become worse without surgical stabilization.
For some people, the appearance of the spinal deformity is unbearable, even if the pain is manageable.
Surgery Options @accordionTitleTag.Name>
Orlando Health’s spinal neurosurgeons offer the latest surgeries available for treating scoliosis, which often involves fusing the spine to reduce curvature or stop it from getting worse. Among the next-level options offered:
This state-of-the art procedure uses computer imaging to guide the implantation of hardware.
Robotic spine surgery
Robotic technology offers a minimally invasive option for the placement of hardware and other devices.
This technology allows your team to constantly monitor your nerves and spinal cord during surgery to decrease the risk of complications.
Highly detailed imagery is used for precision surgery.
This allows your own blood to be recycled during surgery to decrease the need for transfusions.
In some cases, our physicians can perform surgeries through small openings, resulting in quicker recovery times.
Evaluation and Diagnosis @accordionTitleTag.Name>
These images can confirm a scoliosis diagnosis and show the severity of the spinal curve.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
Detailed internal images are generated using magnetic fields and radio waves. This can help your doctor get a better look at the spinal cord and nerve roots, which can be compressed.
Computed tomography (CT) scan
X-rays and computer technology create detailed cross-sectional images of the spine. They can be used to help plan surgeries and to look for underlying causes of scoliosis.
Bone density scan
Allows your doctor to evaluate the quality and strength of spinal bones.
These may be used for a variety of things, including screening for nutritional status, smoking history and diabetes management.
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