Unlike the previous condition, a structured scoliosis is a permanent, fixed deformation, not amenable to improvement without…
The term “scoliosis” derives from the Greek and indicates a lateral deviation and permanent deformation of the vertebral column, which cannot be modified voluntarily, which is accompanied by anatomical alterations of the vertebrae and other support structures of the trunk.
The spine can be likened to a jointed and flexible stack of articulated segments (the vertebrae). Normally the spine remains straight because the overlapping segments have a perfectly regular and symmetrical shape, the joint capsules and ligaments keep them in exact position, the muscles represent a well-balanced support force.
In the presence of scoliosis, the spine, viewed from the front and back, instead of being straight, is curved and rotated on itself.
The deformity we call scoliosis is defined as an abnormal curvature of the spine in which the vertebrae are irregular or asymmetric. This happens when one or more joints become loose and slide around the others, some muscles are too weak or tight, and there is a loss of symmetry of the spine. Scoliosis can be seen either from behind or from the side view. Viewed from behind, it appears as if there were two curves instead of just one. Seen from the side, there is also a twist of one part of the spine (in medical terms: rotation), which is evident as a prominence on one side.
Scoliosis occurs in all age groups but it most frequently appears during puberty. For example, if you have a 15 year old daughter who starts to show signs of scoliosis you need not panic since this condition is quite common at her age (1 in 8 children in this age group has some degree of sc
The scoliotic attitude
Scoliosis, in technical terms, is a “dysmorphism”, and must be distinguished from the simple scoliotic attitude, which falls within the group of “paramorphisms”. In the presence of a dysmorphism the vertebral column is, from an anatomical point of view, deformed, in the presence of a paramorphism the vertebral column is completely normal. The scoliotic attitude always involves a lateral deviation of the spine, with consequent loss of its verticality, but it is never accompanied by deformation of the voluntary bodies and can be corrected voluntarily or with simple external interventions.
The scoliotic attitude is generally determined by static conditions, for example in the presence of hypometry of a limb (limb shorter than the contralateral), or by hip dislocation, or by vertebral or muscle pain, or, quite frequently, by alterations postural or hypovalidity of the trunk muscles.
The therapy is based on eliminating the cause that produced the condition (for example by compensating for the shortening of the lower limb, eliminating spinal pain or strengthening the trunk muscles).
Unlike the previous condition, a structured scoliosis is a permanent, fixed deformation, not amenable to improvement without external intervention, which is always accompanied by anatomical alterations of the vertebral column. A structured scoliosis involves, in addition to the spine, the joints, ligaments, the paravertebral muscles, and, in severe cases, also the internal organs and viscera. Idiopathic scoliosis, that is scoliosis whose triggering factors are not yet known, represent 70-80% of all scoliosis.
There are scoliosis of different types (dorsal, lumbar or combined), of different entity or degree.
Most cases of juvenile and adolescent scoliosis are defined as “idiopathic”, that is, the underlying causes are not known. The triggering factors can be of various kinds (genetic, metabolic, developmental, neurological, muscular…). Today it is considered a complex syndrome with a multifactorial etiology. Diagnosed scoliosis must be treated as soon as possible with the aim not only of containing the progression of the scoliotic curve, but precisely – and today considered of primary importance – to correct the aesthetic aspect; improve the quality of life in all senses, avoid disability and / or pain in adulthood as well as the need for further treatment in adulthood.
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