- This common deformity generates enormous anxiety amongst patients and their parents. Young adolescents (9-15 yrs) are common sufferers and notice a progressive bending of the trunk and abnormal appearance of the ribs (hump) that makes them shy away from friends due to their appearance. Some children complain of pain and limitation in performing routine activities due to fatigue of muscles and pain due to poor posture. As the deformity becomes severe, shortness of breath due to poor lung capacity can become disabling
- There are various causes from abnormal spinal growth (Birth abnormalities), neurofibromatosis, infections, tumors etc. These can present in all age groups (from birth to adult hood).
Though the commonest variety is called Idiopathic scoliosis (without a cause). The spine buckles like a soft beam (similar to a rubber pipe). These children are normal in growth but suddenly start bending during adolescent growth spurt. Tilting of shoulders prominence of pelvis, rib prominence or change in posture is noticed by parents.
- Once the deformity is noticed, It I usually measures more than 30 degrees and progresses at 6-7 degrees a year for 3-4 years. This makes the finally appearance unacceptable.
Fear of surgery delays treatment. Conservative modalities that include exercises and bracing are cumbersome and ineffective in controlling progression
- Surgery is a safe and effective treatment. Logically, It is easier to stretch a soft, elastic spine with lesser curve. So it is prudent to perform the surgery at early age. Also correction is safer, easier and greater when done early.
The modern surgery uses screws and rods that fix the spine and gradually stretch and correct the deformity. During surgery the spinal cord function is continuously monitored using motor and sensory neuro-monitoring system. This makes this surgery safe and provides high satisfaction rates.