Scoliosis
 


Degenerative: Unlike the other forms of scoliosis that are found in children and teens, degenerative scoliosis occurs in older adults. It is caused by changes in the spine due to arthritis. Weakening of the normal ligaments and other soft tissues of the spine combined with abnormal bone spurs can lead to an abnormal curvature of the spine.

Others: There are other potential causes of scoliosis, including spine tumors such as osteoid osteoma. This is a benign tumor that can occur in the spine and cause pain. The pain causes people to lean to the opposite side to reduce he amount of pressure applied to the tumor. This can lead to a spinal deformity.

What are the symptoms of scoliosis?

The most common symptom of scoliosis is an abnormal curve of the spine. Often this is a mild change and may be first noticed by a friend or family member. It can also be found on a routine school screening examination for scoliosis. Those affected may notice that their clothes do not fit as they did previously or that pant legs are longer on one side that the other.
Scoliosis may cause the head to appear off center or one hip or shoulder to be higher than the opposite side. If the scoliosis is more severe, it can make it more difficult for the heart and lungs to work properly. This can cause shortness of breath and chest pain.
In most cases, scoliosis is not painful, but there are certain types of scoliosis than can cause back pain. Additionally, there are other causes of back pain, which your doctor will want to look for as well.

How is scoliosis diagnosed?

If you think you have scoliosis, you can see your doctor for an examination. The doctor will ask questions, including if there is any family history of scoliosis, or if you have had any pain, weakness, or other medical problems.
The physical examination involves looking at the curve of the spine from the sides, front, and back. The person will be asked to undress from the waist up to better see any abnormal curves. The person will then bend over trying to touch their toes. The doctor will also look at the symmetry of the body to see if the hips and shoulders are at the same height. Any skin changes will also be identified that can suggest scoliosis due to a birth defect.

 

 

 

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