What you need to know about scoliosis
Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine with twisting of the vertebral bodies (torsion). This clinical picture was already described and treated by Hippocrates in ancient times. The cause is unclear in most cases, but there is a family history.
Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine with twisting of the vertebral bodies (torsion). The word scoliosis comes from the ancient Greek word «skolíōsis», which means curvature.
This clinical picture was already described and treated by Hippocrates in ancient times. The cause is unclear in most cases, but there is a family history.
About 1% of the population is affected by this back curvature. Scoliosis usually occurs after the age of 10. Girls are affected more often than boys.
In around 90% of cases, the cause of the scoliosis is unknown, which is known as idiopathic scoliosis. There is usually a family history.
A pronounced difference in leg lengths can also lead to scoliosis. In children with a severe disease of the nervous or muscular system, a pronounced curvature often develops, which is referred to as neuromuscular scoliosis (in cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophies).
Congenital scoliosis is caused by congenital malformations of the vertebral bodies, which are fused or only half formed.
Scoliosis is a back curvature where the vertebral bodies are tilted more than 10 degrees towards each other. About 1 percent of the population is affected.
Mild scoliosis occurs in girls and boys with about the same frequency. More severe curvatures are much more common in girls. Most scoliosis only appear after the age of 10.
Symptoms and complaints
As a rule, scoliosis does not cause any pain and is either discovered by chance by the parents or during a check-up, where special attention is paid to the back, especially from the age of 10.
In the case of a pronounced curvature, complaints can also occasionally occur, caused by the deformity or the increased need for holding work, which the muscles have to do. On the other hand, acute back pain with a relieving posture can sometimes simulate the picture of a scoliosis.
When examining the child, attention is paid to a straight pelvis and shoulders, the body plumb is measured and the symmetry of the so-called waist triangles is observed.
During the forward lean test, attention is paid to any asymmetrical protrusion of the ribs or lumbar muscles. Such a rib hump or loin bulge can be measured with a special spirit level.
In most cases, further diagnostics using an X-ray of the entire spine is useful.
Idiopathic scoliosis usually shows typical curvature patterns. The degree of curvature of the back is measured by measuring the tilting of the vertebral bodies in relation to one another. Depending on this, the therapy is also determined.
In the case of an atypical curvature, abnormal clinical examination or very young patients, an MRI examination is also carried out.
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