Many recall elementary school scoliosis tests, bending over in the nurse’s office while being checked for curvature. Scoliosis, which is a curvature of the spine, can develop in adolescence, or as a result of another condition like cerebral palsy. It also can occur through degenerative changes later in life. Scoliosis expert Dr. Steven Dorsky says that the prevalence of all types of spinal deformity in the general population is between 4-10%.
For those developing scoliosis as an adult, treatment often involves a posterior spinal fusion, where the vertebrae are connected using bone from another part of the body or donated material. Instrumentation, including rods or screws, might be used as well, to align the spine while it heals.
Children with scoliosis might get bracing until growth is complete, or a surgical option different than for adults. This is aimed at preserving their spinal motion and enabling continued spinal growth. “Surgery, when necessary, has the positive effect of preventing progression of the curve, improved self image, balanced posture, and improved function,” says scoliosis expert Dr. Steven Dorsky.
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