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All American Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute

Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeons located in Clear Lake, Houston, TX & Pasadena, TX

Scoliosis affects as many as 9 million Americans. At All American Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute in Houston, Texas, the caring team of board-certified orthopedic surgeons offers comprehensive scoliosis treatment. Scoliosis can seem like an intimidating and even frightening condition, but the team offers a wide range of non-surgical and surgical care to ease your symptoms and worries. Book an appointment online or call the office today.

Scoliosis Q & A

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves to the side. A healthy spine makes a line straight down your back, but with scoliosis, the spine has abnormal lateral curvature. This means that the spine may look like an “S” or “C.”

Both children and adults can develop scoliosis. In children and teens, it’s called pediatric scoliosis. Adult scoliosis is also quite common. It affects more than 8% of adults over 25 and 68% of adults over 60. 

What causes scoliosis?

The cause of pediatric scoliosis is unknown in about 85% of cases. However, genetics may play a role. 

Two less common types of pediatric scoliosis include congenital scoliosis, caused by congenital vertebral malformations, and neuromuscular scoliosis, caused by neurological or muscular disorders like muscular dystrophy and spina bifida. 

In adults, age-related spinal degeneration is the main cause of scoliosis. You can also develop adult scoliosis if you don’t treat pediatric scoliosis as a child.

What are the symptoms of pediatric scoliosis?

The symptoms of pediatric scoliosis can be subtle. It’s not usually painful and children may unconsciously compensate for spinal changes, which makes them harder to spot. 

Some of the possible signs of pediatric scoliosis include:

  • One shoulder higher than the other
  • Leaning to the right or left
  • One leg shorter than the other
  • Sharp shoulder blades
  • One hip higher than the other
  • Clothes don’t fit properly
  • Uneven waist
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Growing tired quickly

If you’re concerned about pediatric scoliosis, arrange an assessment for your child at All American Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute as soon as possible.

How is scoliosis diagnosed?

The team at All American Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute reviews your medical history and family history before performing a physical exam.

If they note signs of scoliosis, such as a limb length discrepancy or muscle strain, they typically use X-ray imaging to verify the condition. X-rays can also determine whether the spinal curvature is severe enough to require immediate treatment.

How is scoliosis treated?

Scoliosis treatment varies depending on the type and the severity of the deformity. 

Pediatric scoliosis

With pediatric scoliosis, the spinal curvature may be quite small. In this situation, the team may recommend monitoring several times a year. 

Bracing can be effective for pediatric scoliosis sufferers who have significant or rapidly growing spinal curvature. 

Children and teens rarely need surgery for scoliosis. In severe cases, surgery may be the only way to stop progression, minimize the deformity, and preserve trunk balance.

Adult scoliosis

With adult scoliosis, treatment options vary with scoliosis severity. In many cases, a combination of physical therapy and oral medication is effective. Nerve block injections can manage symptoms for a few months at a time. 

If you have stubborn symptoms, you may need surgery to correct spinal imbalance, stabilize your spine, and ease nerve pressure.

For scoliosis help, call All American Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute or book an appointment online today.