Skoliosis and Kyphosis Treatment
Dr. Cink, what is scoliosis / kyphosis and who is affected most by this disease?
No spine is absolutely straight. Spine curvatures are normal and harmless up to a certain degree. Scoliosis is a sideway curvature of the spine with additional rotation of the spine in most cases. Patients show a visibly curved spine and lean to one side. Shoulders or hips appear uneven. It can affect people of any age, most often it is diagnosed in children and adolescents. Degenerative scoliosis is mainly diagnosed in elderly people.
Kyphosis (roundback) is a curvature of the spine with an abnormal forward curve of the upper back.
Kyphoscoliosis – the combination of scoliosis and kyphosis – constitutes the most severe deformity of the thoracic cage.
The Cobb angle is used as a measure for assessing the spinal deformity and helps the specialist to determine which treatment is necessary.
What may happen if scoliosis remains untreated?
If the patient has no symptoms, scoliosis can remain unrecognized for a long time. Until symptoms appear it is often too late for conservative treatment. Therefor early detection of scoliosis is extremely important. Apart from pain, untreated scoliosis can cause displacement of internal organs which may lead to serious problems. Besides, severe curvature of the spine often causes psychosocial problems.
What therapy options are there?
The conservative and surgical therapy of scoliosis requires a lot of experience and expertise and follows clear guidelines. Depending on the severity of the disease physiotherapy will be prescribed in mild cases, brace treatment in case of moderate scoliosis, and surgery in case of severe deformities. At the spine center we take the time to discuss the treatment options with the patient in detail and to develop a tailor-made treatment plan.
In which cases is surgery definitely indicated?
Non-surgical treatment options, such as physical therapy, are always tried first. If the pain persists and other symptoms do not lessen, surgery may be indicated. The aim of the operation is to reduce the deformity, relieve pain and other neurological symptoms and to prevent the curve’s progression. Depending on the case the specialist will discuss with you the appropriate method and work out an individual treatment plan.
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