Adolescent Idiopathic scoliosis

Scoliosis is a side-to-side curve in the spine. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is a type of scoliosis that develops just before or during the growth spurt of puberty 11-14 years. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type of scoliosis.

The curves can be mild, moderate or severe. Mild curves are the least likely to progress (increase in size over time). Moderate and severe curves are larger in size, and they are more likely to become larger still, particularly if the child is still growing.

What are the Symptoms?

Usually AIS is without any obvious symptoms. The problem is the deformity.

  • Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis can cause the hips and/or shoulders to appear uneven. One side of the rib cage may be protruding “rib hump” more than the other. The head may appear off-center with the body.
  • Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis usually develops slowly, the change is so gradual that it goes unnoticed by parents and patients.

Causes :

  • The cause of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is not understood–in fact, idiopathic means “arising for reasons that are not yet understood.”
  • Is it caused by Bad sitting or sleeping postures: NO

How to diagnose?

  • An Xray called as scannogram showing the full length of the spine is taken and curves are measured. The curves are measured on a scale called the Cobb scale. A “mild” curve is usually considered a curve that measures 20 degrees or less on the Cobb scale, a “moderate” curve measures between 20 and 50 degrees, and a “severe” curve measures 50 degrees or more.

How to Treat it?

  • The primary goal of scoliosis treatment is to prevent deformities from progressing. Surgery is not always required.
  • A mild curve in a patient who is almost skeletally mature( not much bone growth left) is unlikely to progress further; a moderate curve in a patient with more growth ahead of her is more likely to progress.
  • Nonoperative treatment, including physical therapy and strengthening and stretching exercises, brace is required in mild and moderate cases.
  • If the curve is severe–50 degrees or more–surgery is considered to correct the spinal deformity with help of rods and screws.

Post Operative care :

  • Patient is mobilized/ made to stand/ walk out of the bed on the next post operative day itself. No continuous bed rest is required.
  • Patients can lead a happy and normal life.