Idiopathic Scoliosis – 2022


Idiopathic Scoliosis

This type of scoliosis is the most common, it assumes about 80% of the cases and it is when you don’t know why the patient develops that scoliosis, it is not possible to identify the cause.

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Types of scoliosis

This deformity can have different origins and, regardless of the physical appearance, which seems to be the same in all types of scoliosis, they can have very different prognoses, behaving differently in terms of evolution.

  • Congenital scoliosis (at birth): It accounts for about 10% of cases and originates from the day of birth, when there is malformation or division of the vertebrae;
  • Neuromuscular scoliosis: It arises from sequelae of neurological diseases, as is the case, for example, of poliomyelitis and cerebral palsy;
  • Idiopathic scoliosis: The cause of this type is not known. It is considered the most common scoliosis. Each one has different characteristics and levels of evolution.
  • Post-traumatic scoliosis: It arises from connective tissue diseases and/or chromosomal abnormalities.
  • Adult Degenerative Scoliosis: When it is caused by the degeneration of discs in the spine and its joints as a result, in particular, of advancing age.

Idiopathic Scoliosis

This type of scoliosis is the most common, it assumes about 80% of the cases and it is when you don’t know why the patient develops that scoliosis, it is not possible to identify the cause. Many theories have already been put forward, but none have been assessed as conclusive, although the hereditary cause is of strong relevance. This type of scoliosis, which is the most common in the general population, is usually divided into four groups:

  • Infant: From birth to 3 years of age;
  • Juvenile: From 3 to 9 years old;
  • Adolescent: From 10 to 18 years of age;
  • Adult: After 18 years of age.

Some people are more susceptible to curving of the spine. During puberty, for example, the body’s growth rate is faster, increasing the risk of curve progression. And in this age group the prevalence of scoliosis is more in girls than in boys. In the case of children and adolescents, scoliosis often has no visible symptoms and this lasts until the curve progresses significantly.

Physical signs that can usually indicate scoliosis

  • The waist may look uneven;
  • The shoulders or hips are asymmetrical;
  • One side of the rib cage or one leg may appear smaller than the other;
  • The body leans more to one side.

Other symptoms of scoliosis

In the vast majority of cases, the symptoms are quite mild. But they can still arise… The patient may feel:

  • Muscle pain, mild or high, depending on each case;
  • Feeling of fatigue in the back, especially after a prolonged period of sitting or standing;
  • Psychological factors.

Causes for Scoliosis

Most cases of the structural type come from an unknown (idiopathic) cause, but genetic factors are known to have a strong influence. Other causes of scoliosis are related to sequelae of neurological diseases (cerebral palsy, polio, etc.), congenital malformation and even post-trauma. A simple way to detect the presence of scoliosis is to stand behind the patient and observe if, in the forward bending movement of the trunk, any raised region appears on the back. In the initial phase, patients with scoliosis do not complain of pain; therefore, it can go unnoticed and evolve. The doctor checks and measures the angulation of the scoliosis curves using X-rays. Curves of up to 30 degrees are treated conservatively with specific physical therapy exercises and especially through GPR (Global Postural Reeducation). Above 30 degrees, in addition to physiotherapy, it is necessary to use vests. Above 50 degrees, treatment can be surgical, as depending on the location of the curve, there may be compression of vital organs such as the lungs and heart. When there is no compression of vital organs and no significant aesthetic impairment, from the patient’s point of view, conservative treatment can be chosen. Once discovered and treated early, the chances of successful scoliosis treatment are greater.


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