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Is Scoliosis Serious?

Scoliosis can be serious, but most cases are not. Treatments can minimize the condition's impact, particularly when it's caught early in childhood or adolescence. 

The spinal specialists at Bahri Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clinic routinely diagnose and treat scoliosis in patients of all ages, even though only about 30% of those with sideways curvature of the spine require medical care. Even fewer, around 10%, will need surgery. 

When you know the facts, there's typically little reason to harbor concern about scoliosis. Let's examine the condition, its effects, and its outcomes. 

Signs of scoliosis

While abnormal spinal curvature is a symptom of diseases like muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy, the cause of most cases of scoliosis usually remains unknown, except for a genetic link within families that sometimes emerges. 

Scoliosis often presents during the teen years. Signs that could reveal abnormal spine alignment include: 

The spine usually twists with sideways curvature, causing various bulges and protrusions. Early signs and symptoms of scoliosis may be hard to detect. 

Common treatments for mild and moderate scoliosis

For many children with scoliosis, the first treatment is simply observation. It's common to have scoliosis that causes no problems. Scoliosis can correct itself, or it may remain symptom-free at a point of advancement. 

We watch for signs of curvature and twist advancements, indicating that scoliosis might worsen. When this happens, it's typically when a patient moves from the mild to moderate condition level. 

Treatments for moderate scoliosis include braces if the patient's skeleton is not yet fully matured. Braces can stop the progress of scoliosis but can't straighten the spine back to normal conditions. 

When surgery becomes necessary

Generally, we recommend surgery for children if scoliosis reaches 40 degrees and there are indications that curvature is still advancing. In adults, we recommend surgery at the 50-degree angle. 

Adults who had scoliosis surgery more than 20 years ago may benefit from revision surgery, given the major advances in spine surgery procedures over that time. Minimally invasive surgical approaches can now access the spine from the back or through the abdomen, reducing the impact on healthy tissue and speeding recovery for the patient. 

Scoliosis varies significantly between patients, so every treatment plan is customized to meet the specific needs of you or your child. 

Find out more about scoliosis and the best way to proceed in consultation with our surgeons. You can book an appointment at either the Jacksonville location of Bahri Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clinic by phone or online. Arrange your visit today.

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