Correction of spinal deformity

What is spinal deformity?

Any anomaly in the shape, alignment or formation of the vertebral column is defined as spinal deformity. More than 25 small bones called vertebrae forms the spine. The upper portion of spine of called cervical spine. The middle portion is called thoracic spine. The bottom portion that supports most of the body weight is called the lumbar spine. Any abnormality in the shape and formation of any portion of the spine can be considered as spinal deformity. Some of the common abnormalities include:

  • Scoliosis
  • Kyphosis
  • Spondylolisthesis

What is scoliosis?

An abnormal bend in the spine is referred to as scoliosis. A patient with scoliosis will have a spine in “s” or “c” shape. Some of the reliable studies state that, a major number of scoliosis develop from unknown causes. Birth defects, genetic conditions and neurological abnormalities are some of the causes that can be pinpointed in certain cases. Treatment options for scoliosis include bracing and surgery.

How are spinal deformities diagnosed?

Physical examination is the first step of diagnosis for any spinal deformity. A qualified orthopedician may determine any deformity during the physical examination. Sometimes, it may even require further evaluation process. The degree of curvature is measured using an instrument called a scoliometer. X-rays are also suggested to determine other spinal deformities. If any further investigation required, the doctor may suggest an MRI.

How are spinal deformities treated?

The treatment options may vary according to the severity of the deformity. Fracture or other undelying issues may require immediate treatment. If the curvature is more than 20 degrees, the doctor may suggest bracing or surgery. Braces are used to support the spine to stay in position. If the patient experiences severe pain or other neurological problems, or if the patient has a curvature greater than 50 degrees, surgery will be recommended. There are several non-surgical management options and surgical techniques to treat spinal deformities. Apart from surgeries, physical therapies and biofeedbacks are also suggested to improve the posture.

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