Board Certified Orthopedic Spine Surgeon Serving Long Beach and Orange County
Scoliosis often appears during adolescence, but at every age, it’s essential to get an early evaluation and ongoing monitoring to watch for curve progression. At Verma Spine in Los Alamitos, Long Beach, and Orange County, California, Kushagra Verma, MD, MS, FAAOS, specializes in treating scoliosis with personalized care and customized treatment that fits each patient. If you or your child have signs of scoliosis, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Scoliosis Q & A
What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. When viewed from behind, the spine should form a straight line, but in patients with scoliosis, it forms an S- or C-shaped curve. In severe cases, the spine can also rotate or twist.
Scoliosis tends to occur in families, and it may be caused by neuromuscular conditions and birth defects. In 80% of all cases, however, the underlying cause can’t be determined, a condition called idiopathic scoliosis.
When does scoliosis develop?
Scoliosis can develop at any age, from infancy through adulthood, but it most often occurs between the ages of 10-15 years and is idiopathic. When scoliosis develops in adults, it’s usually one of two types: idiopathic or degenerative.
Adult idiopathic scoliosis typically begins during the teen years and continues to progress. Degenerative scoliosis occurs due to age-related spine problems such as facet joint arthritis and degenerative disc disease.
What symptoms develop due to scoliosis?
Scoliosis seldom causes pain or discomfort in children and adolescents. Their symptoms take the form of body asymmetry, such as uneven shoulders and hips, in which one shoulder or hip looks higher than the other. One side of the rib cage may be higher or stick out farther than the other side.
Adults with degenerative scoliosis have the same physical changes, as well as additional symptoms such as low back pain and stiffness. Adults may also have numbness or pain that shoots down their legs,
How do you diagnose and treat scoliosis?
Dr. Verma begins by physically examining you or your child’s back while standing, bending over, and walking. He uses a scoliometer to get an estimate of the abnormal curvature and performs diagnostic imaging to thoroughly evaluate the spine and determine the degree of curvature.
Dr. Verma explains scoliosis and reviews the diagnostic imaging with patients and their families so they’re well informed and can make the best decisions. Once a diagnosis of scoliosis is verified, Dr. Verma recommends treatment based on variables such as the degree of curvature, whether the spine is still growing, and the possibility of curve progression.
You or your child may only need routine monitoring to determine if the curve is getting worse. When the curvature is moderate and the patient is still growing, Dr. Verma may prescribe bracing to stop the progression. In more severe cases, spinal surgery is needed to stabilize the curvature and diminish spinal deformity.
If you or your child have symptoms of scoliosis, expert help is available at Verma Spine; call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Dr. Verma practices in the following areas:
- Los Alamitos
- Long Beach
- Hunnington Beach
- Orange County