What Exactly is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a permanent abnormal lateral bending of the spine, accompanied by a concurrent rotation (contortion) of the vertebral bodies. It occurs during adolescence and progresses until the process of adolescent growth has been completed.
Scoliosis – deformation of the spine – leads to modification of the thorax with the development of a hunchback and lumbar bulging as well as to a contortion of the pectoral girdle towards the pelvis.
From a specific degree, the scoliosis gradually causes a structural modification of the vertebral bodies with loss of mobility. In addition, an advanced scoliosis can lead to dysfunctions in the area of the viscera, primarily of the heart and the lung. The result is a reduction of the respiratory capacity and often pain will appear. As a consequence, the physical ability will be significantly restricted and the quality of life impaired.
Possible causes of scoliosis
20 % of the scoliosis cases have a known cause such as vertebral anomalies, modifications of the bone structure, muscular or nervous diseases or actinic deformations of the spine.
80 % of the scoliosis cases are "idiopathic scolioses", the cause of which is unknown. Girls are affected more often than boys, namely at the radio of 4:1.
In most cases, idiopathic scolioses appear as late as during adolescence. Due to growth spurts, a rapid deterioration (progress) can be noticed. Often these spurts occur within a few months and the deterioration can amount to multiples of the initial value.
For severe cases of scoliosis we offer a one-day consultation with Prof. Halm (spine surgeon of the Schön Klinik Neustadt) every two months.
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