Scoliosis is defined by an unnatural curve of the spine that is often visible by just looking at the patient’s back especially with forward bending and often requires no X-ray or MRI for initial diagnosis. Scoliosis generally tends to develop in adolescents during growth periods. The curve may become more exaggerated over time causing the hips and shoulders on one side of the body to be raised higher than the other side.
It is important to monitor the progression of Scoliosis in children and adults. Many who have Scoliosis will exhibit no symptoms and never require treatment. For others, the condition may continue to progress and result in symptoms. In very severe cases, the curvature of the spine causes a decrease in space in the chest and can impair respiratory and cardiac functions.
Adult onset Degenerative Scoliosis is generally caused by severe degenerative changes of long segments of the spine where one side of the spine experiences more degeneration than the other.
Symptoms of Scoliosis can include:
- Back pain
- Visible curvature of the spine
- Raising of hips or shoulders on one side
- One shoulder blade protruding further than the other
- Respiratory difficulties