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All you need to know about scoliosis

Scoliosis is caused by a curve of the spine to one side. Though it can occur in any part of the spine, it is most common in the upper and lower back. Scoliosis is much more common in females than males.

Often patients are unaware they have scoliosis. However, in some cases, it can cause patients to lean to one side or have uneven shoulders or hips due to the curvature.

Usually, patients do not need treatment because the curve is minimal and does not progress further. However, if the curve is significant enough, it may be recommended to treat it by wearing a back brace and physical therapy.

An orthopedic spine doctor can help diagnose and treat scoliosis to achieve the best possible outcome. In rare cases, the patient may need surgery. This is usually when the patient is experiencing significant pain or reduced ability to participate in usual activities.


What is scoliosis?

With scoliosis, the patient will have a C or S-shaped curvature of the spine. Doctors use something called a Cobb angle, a tool to measure the curvature of the spine. It must measure at least 10 degrees for a scoliosis diagnosis.

Though scoliosis can occur at any age, it is most common between the ages of 10 to 12 years old. Rarely is it diagnosed in infants, known as infantile scoliosis, which can affect children before the age of 3.


What causes scoliosis?

Usually, there is no known cause of scoliosis. Occasionally it can be associated with other disorders such as:

  • Cerebral Palsy

  • Muscular Dystrophy

  • Spinal Bifida

Doctors usually classify scoliosis as either structural or non-structural. A structural curve is permanent and may be due to another medical condition. Non-structural means the curve is temporary. Both can be treated by an orthopedic specialist.


How is scoliosis treated?

Orthopedic doctors treat scoliosis based on the severity of the curve.

Outcomes are also more concerning if the patient's bones have stopped growing. While the bones are still growing, braces effectively treat scoliosis.

The patient will usually have regular checkups at 3, 6, or 12-month intervals to monitor any changes. Usually, orthopedic doctors monitor the condition without treatment, especially if the curve is between 10-25 degrees. Bracing may be recommended if the curve is 25 to 40 degrees. Curves that are greater than 40 degrees may require surgery.


What should I know about bracing for scoliosis?

It is important to know that bracing does not cure scoliosis, but it does prevent further curvature of the spine. The more it is worn, the more effective it will be for treating scoliosis. Braces need to be worn at all times, even while sleeping at night.

Patients should understand that brace will not restrict what they can participate in, including exercise and sports. It is okay to remove the brace for a short period if needed while participating in certain activities.

The brace doesn't need to be worn for life. Once the bones stop growing, the brace no longer needs to be worn.

Where can I find the best in Orthopedics near me?

Pinnacle Orthopaedics provides the best surgical and non-surgical options for treating conditions of the spine. We have several convenient locations offering the best treatment and care throughout our community. We have clinics in the following areas:

If you require an orthopedic specialist, please contact us today!



The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.