Dunedin Scoliosis Correction Doctor
Scoliosis affects your health and your appearance. As it progresses, the back begins to appear deformed. Fortunately, surgical and non-surgical scoliosis correction treatment options are available. A Dunedin scoliosis correction doctor can work to diagnose your condition and determine the best type of treatment for you. Scoliosis should not permanently prevent you from doing the things you love; a skilled back doctor can help.
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis, colloquially referred to as curvature of the spine, usually occurs in adolescence, when growth spurts are common. When it is first diagnosed past that age, it is called adult scoliosis. The cause of scoliosis is usually unknown unless it is a type found in adults known as degenerative scoliosis. This form of scoliosis results from the aging process and wear and tear on the spine, which starts a spinal curve. When the curvature is severe, it may interfere with heart and lung function.
Besides back unevenness and pain, scoliosis symptoms include:
- Limb length disparity
- Uneven hips or shoulders
- Abnormal gait
- Humped back
- Difficulty sitting or standing
- Visible rib hump, viewable from behind
Some people realize they may have scoliosis when they notice their clothes do not fit them well anymore, even though their weight has not changed.
Determining the Severity and Treating the Condition
Along with performing a thorough physical examination and taking a detailed medical history, the dedicated Dunedin scoliosis correction doctor will usually order spinal X-rays to determine the exact degree of curvature. Curves are classified based on severity and shape. Most patients will receive conservative treatment to start, and in mild cases, the doctor may adopt a “wait and see” attitude to see if the curvature progresses over time.
If a patient is overweight, the doctor will recommend a diet and exercise plan tailored to that individual as excess weight exacerbates scoliosis symptoms. While smoking is bad for the health in general, it is particularly unhealthy for patients with back and neck issues. The doctor can recommend anti-smoking therapies to help the patient kick the habit. Finally, nutritional supplements can aid in supporting bone.
Surgical Scoliosis Correction in Dunedin
The method to correct scoliosis depends on the degree of spinal curvature, but most adult scoliosis is treatable without surgery. This treatment may consist of bracing and a physical therapy regimen, along with medication if the curvature is causing back pain. The goal of this type of treatment for scoliosis lies is to strengthen back and abdominal muscles for postural improvement.
Surgery is not usually recommended for those with a curvature of less than 45 degrees. However, if the curvature is greater than this, spinal fusion of two or more vertebrae may an option. Spinal fusion involves using a bone graft, rods, screws, and implants to achieve spinal stability. Once the areas heals the affected vertebrae fuse together and correct the issue. However, some mobility is lost from this procedure.
Some patients may experience numbness or weakness, which is due to the curvature causing nerve compression. For these patients, decompression surgery may relieve symptoms and are often minimally invasive. That means less downtime for the patient and a faster recovery.
If the curvature is affecting the patient’s heart and lung capacity, surgery is necessary. To determine the best treatment option, it is important to consult a Dunedin scoliosis correction doctor.
Talking to a Scoliosis Correction Doctor in Dunedin
If you suspect you are suffering from scoliosis, it is important to get the treatment you need. In many cases, scoliosis can be treated with minimally invasive methods that can help you get back to your life. Call today to learn how a Dunedin scoliosis correction doctor can help.