Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Symptoms and Treatments

Types of Structural Scoliosis

There are several types of structural scoliosis. In this video, Dr. Joseph will discuss the most common type of scoliosis, review symptoms and outline treatment options available for patients.

Idiopathic Scoliosis

Idiopathic scoliosis accounts for about 8 in 10 cases of scoliosis. This type of scoliosis typically presents during adolescence, but it can also start earlier in childhood or infancy. What causes idiopathic scoliosis is currently unknown. Researchers discovered a gene that is believed to be associated with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis only a few years ago.

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is an abnormal C-shaped or S-shaped curvature of the spine. The curvature of the spine is measured by the Cobb angle. A Cobb angle greater than 15° is considered scoliosis.

Symptoms of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

Symptoms include back pain, unequal leg lengths, uneven hips, uneven shoulders (one shoulder appears higher than the other), abnormal gait, as well as breathing difficulties when the rib cage puts pressure on the lungs. When left untreated, the deformity might progress significantly. For milder cases, your doctor may recommend nonsurgical treatment such as bracing. Braces are usually worn for several hours daily. This can be effective if the child is still growing and has a Cobb angle between 25° and 45°.
In progressive cases, or when the Cobb angle is greater than 45°, your doctor may recommend surgery to straighten and fixate the spine, by placing implants such as screws, rods, hooks, and wires in and along the spine.

Surgery treats but does not cure scoliosis. It corrects the abnormal curvature and prevents further progression of the disease.

Surgical treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

Surgical treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis requires planning and precision. Each scoliotic curvature has unique challenges, and often the patient’s vertebrae are deformed, twisted and abnormally small, which makes for a challenging surgery. Mazor’s core technology allows surgeons to plan ahead before entering the operating room; Mazor Robotics advanced 3D planning software is used before surgery to create the procedure for each patient’s condition. During the operation, the physician does the actual work; Mazor X guides the surgeon’s tools according to the predetermined blueprint to place the implants.

About Joseph Spine

Joseph Spine is an advanced center for spine, scoliosis and minimally invasive spine surgery. Founded by Dr. Samuel A. Joseph, a fellowship trained, board-certified orthopedic surgeon. His practice includes the specialized, conservative, and surgical care of patients. Treatment includes therapeutic injections, disc replacement surgery, minimally invasive techniques, and complex reconstruction of adult and pediatric spinal disorders. Dr. Joseph is also among a select group of surgeons to offer cutting-edge regenerative injection (stem cell) therapy.

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