Scoliosis is a term that is used when a patient's spine is curved. Scoliosis can occur at any age, but most commonly it develops during early adolescence. This is a period of rapid growth when a child’s body starts to grow and becomes more adult.
The most common type of scoliosis is called an idiopathic scoliosis. This means there is no identified cause for its development. We do not know why scoliosis happens in some people and not in others. Some patients have family members with scoliosis. Sometimes there are other problems in the body that may contribute to the spine becoming curved, such as having eccess movement of the joints, which is called being hypermobile.
Scoliosis may be noticed for a variety of reasons. Quite often it is first noticed by family members or teachers at school. It may cause a person to lean to one side or clothes may not fit properly anymore. Often, it affects the shape of the hips and/or the chest, which may be the first noticeable sign. These changes in the chest and the hips occur because the spine doesn’t just curve sideways, it also rotates or twists. When the spine twists it causes the ribs to change shape because they attach to the spine. The change in shape of the ribs is what affects the appearance of the chest and the waist. The hips can also appear uneven due to the twist in the spine.
When you come to the RNOH, you may see a variety of people including doctors, nurses, therapists and radiographers. You will always be referred to one of our spinal surgeons whether you need surgery or not.
The options for treatment of your scoliosis will either be conservative:
- Active monitoring (monitor regularly with imaging to see if the curve gets worse)
- Information class
- Options for surgery and it will include a period of postoperative rehabilitation.