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What Is Scoliosis?

In the normal and healthy spine, when the vertebrae are viewed from the back, there is a straight line in the neck, back and waist areas from top to bottom. Scoliosis is the tilting of the spine above 10 degrees when viewed from the front or back. In scoliosis, the vertebrae move to the right or left and at the same time rotate around their own axes. Therefore, it is defined as a three-dimensional deformity. Scoliosis is most commonly seen in the back and waist areas of the spine and may include one or both of these areas. The most common form of curvature is the curvature on the right side of the chest.

What Are The Causes of Scoliosis?

Scoliosis can occur due to many different underlying diseases. Many factors can cause scoliosis such as disorders in the formation of congenital spinal bones, disorders in the chest bones, nerve and muscle diseases, spinal tumors, trauma, spinal infections, metabolic diseases, surgeries in areas close to the spinal bones. The most common form is idiopathic scoliosis. Studies show that scoliosis is a genetic disease and studies are still continuing to distinguish the genes that cause scoliosis. "Carrying a heavy bag", which is widely known among the public, is not a factor that causes scoliosis.

What Are The Physical Changes That Scoliosis Can Cause?

One shoulder is higher than the other.
Another scapula is protuberant.
One hip is higher than the other.
One leg may appear longer.
There is asymmetry in the waist and waist pits are not equal.
The body and the rib cage have shifted to one side.
The head is not centered between the hips.
Dresses do not stand properly and one side appears higher when the child bends down from the waist.

What Are The Treatment Methods in Scoliosis?

Scoliosis can be treated with surgical or non-surgical methods depending on the size and severity of the curvature. Non-surgical methods include monitoring the progression of curvature with physical therapy and exercises, using a corset, and monitoring the progress of curvature with ablation.

The surgical decision varies according to the stage of growth, the placement and the shape of curvature. There are several different scenarios for curvatures between 25-40 degrees. If the curvature is suppressed but still less than 40 degrees and growth is complete, the risk of such curvatures progressing into adulthood is low. If curvature is evident but surgery is not recommended and continues to grow, close observation is required and the use of a corset may be considered.

If a curvature reaches 40 degrees, surgical intervention may be recommended even if growth is incomplete. When the skeleton matures, it tends to progress at curves less than 40-45 degrees in the dorsal region, but waist curvatures have a lower threshold value such as 35-40 degrees. When the skeleton matures, curvatures above 50 degrees have a risk of progressing throughout adulthood, but they progress at a slower rate (about one to two degrees per year).
The likelihood of surgery is high.

In scoliosis, the aim of surgery is to prevent further progression of the deformity and to correct the spine in the safest way possible. Stopping progress will also prevent serious health problems that come with severe scoliosis later in life. Some of the problems that may be associated with large curvatures are breathing difficulties, heart problems, muscle weakness and pain. In short, a smooth and balanced body and spine are obtained with surgical treatment.

Depending on the type of scoliosis, the degree of curvature and the potential for increase, and the age of the patient, the surgical procedure will be determined by the specialist physician. During surgery, the curvature is corrected to the maximum extent that a safe correction is possible. To do this, implants (usually rods, screws, wires, and/or hooks) are attached to the vertebrae in the spine, where there is curvature.

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