Living with scoliosis doesn’t mean you can’t live your life to the fullest. The spine or backbone is responsible for keeping the body in an upright position. If something happens to it, we can encounter difficulty in doing a lot of things. Scoliosis is a condition that affects the spine. A curved spine can cause someone’s body to tilt to the left or right. Scoliosis can be noticeable when one shoulder blade is higher than the other or an uneven waist has a tendency to lean to one side. These problems may be noticed when a kid is trying on new clothes. If one pant leg is shorter than the other, the kid might have scoliosis. Though, it could also be possible that one of his legs is actually shorter than the other. If scoliosis is neglected, the curves may progress dramatically, creating significant physical deformity and even cardiopulmonary problems.
One easy test to find out if a person has scoliosis is the forward-bending test which involves bending over, with straight knees, and reaching the fingertips toward the feet or the floor. Then, a doctor or nurse will look at the back to see if the spine curves.
Once scoliosis is suspected, an x-ray of the spine is necessary in order to get a better look of the condition of the spine. People with a mild curve may need to undergo regular check ups with their doctors to make sure that the curve is not getting worse. However, those with severe curves may be required to wear a brace or may have to undergo an operation. The brace is designed to hold the spine in place and prevent the curve from getting worse. The length of time the brace is worn depends on the severity of the scoliosis. It can be worn all day or only during nighttime. Most kids need to wear their braces at least 20 hours a day, even when they go to school. The use of the brace is slightly decreased as the child grown older.
Doctors have made better designed, lighter, and more comfortable braces for kids with scoliosis. But if braces do not do the trick, a surgical operation is the next option. During surgery, Orthopedic surgeons fuse the bones in the spine together to correct the curve using metal rods, hooks, screws, and wires to hold everything in line until the vertebrae heals. The operation may take several hours, depending on how big the curve is and how many bones need to be fused. Recovery from operation depends on the type of surgery, the age of the patient, and the severity of the condition.
Due to the advancements in medicines, treatments have greatly improved and more people with scoliosis are now living normal lives. People with scoliosis should consult their doctors about how to participate safely in activities, such as exercise and sports, because it’s important for everyone to be active and fit. Scoliosis may throw you a curve, but with the right care, you can live a healthy and active lifestyle.