The spine has naturally occurring curves that position the head over the pelvis and function as shock absorbers with movement. When these curves are exaggerated or pronounced problems can occur such as back pain, breathing difficulties, and fatigue.
Scoliosis is a condition where the spine or back bone is curved sideways instead of appearing in a straight line. The most common type of scoliosis is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis which occurs after age 10 and is seen more frequently in girls than boys.
Scoliosis can occur at any age. The cause of scoliosis is not known in 80% of cases. This is referred to as idiopathic scoliosis. Dr Hsu and Dr Singh will investigate other possible causes before diagnosing you with idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliosis causes are categorised into two groups:
Non-Structural Scoliosis: This type of scoliosis presents as a structurally normal spine with a temporary or changing curve.
Treatment of scoliosis is based on Dr Hsu or Dr Singh’s assessment of the spinal curve, its cause, the age of the patient, and how much more the patient may grow. Treatment options include:
Dr Hsu or Dr Singh may want to see you every 4-6 months to monitor the curve if your scoliosis is mild with a curve of less than 25 degrees.
Dr Hsu or Dr Singh may recommend wearing a brace to prevent the curve from worsening while the patient is still growing or if your curve is greater than 30 degrees.
If the patient is still growing and the curve is over 40 degrees, or is worsening, surgery may be recommended. The most common surgical procedure for Scoliosis is correction, stabilization, and fusion of the curve.
Lordosis is a condition where the natural inward curve of the spine in the lumbar region, just above the buttocks, is abnormally increased or pronounced. Lordosis is sometimes referred to as swayback.
Causes of lordosis include:
this condition occurs when one vertebra slips forward in relation to an adjacent vertebra causing misalignment and potential entrapment of the spinal nerves. This condition can be congenital (present at birth) or can develop in childhood or adulthood.
The goal of treatment for lordosis is to stop the progression of the curve and prevent deformity from occurring. Treatment for lordosis is dependent on the severity of the condition, the patient’s age, and if there are any neurological deficits present. Treatment options include the following:
Your NSWSS spinal surgeon may want to see you every 4-6 months to monitor the curve if your lordosis is mild.
Kyphosis is an abnormal curving of the spine usually occurring in the thoracic region resulting in a roundback or hunchback appearance. Kyphosis can also occur in the cervical and lumbar regions although this is less frequent.
Causes of kyphosis include:
Compression fractures can occur in the vertebrae as a result of osteoporosis leading to Kyphosis.
Treatment for Kyphosis will depend on the cause of the condition. Treatment options include:
All surgical procedures involve risks. The information provided here is for general educational purposes only. For specific advice regarding treatment for spine deformities, please book an appointment with one of our surgeons.