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Brain & Spine Disorders

Spinal Deformity

Scoliosis and Kyphosis

Scoliosis and kyphosis are curvatures of the spine. Although most common in young teenagers, these deformities affect children as well as adults.  In most patients these deformities are non-progressive; however in some patients, these deformities continue to slowly progress throughout life, resulting in cosmetic issues, functional issues and occasionally painful and sometimes dangerous curvatures that must be addressed surgically. The goals of treating any spinal deformity are to stop progression, normalize spinal function, minimize any associated painful problems.  For adolescent patients with severe curves, and for adults with curves that continue to worsen, or are painful, surgical treatment can reduce and halt the progression of deformity.
 
Spondylolisthesis
Spondylolisthesis is another spinal deformity where one vertebrae (a spinal bone) slips forward in relation to the one below.  This can commonly result from a defect or stress fracture in the arch component of the vertebrae.  On rare circumstances the slippage of the vertebrae can cause spinal nerve irritation by compression resulting in pain down the leg or even more rare numbness and or muscle weakness. If painful and progressive, spondylolisthesis may require a spinal fusion in order to prevent further slippage or to relieve low back pain and nerve irritation

Cause - Scoliosis and Kyphosis
In most cases, the cause behind scoliosis and kyphosis is unknown.  It is thought to be a combination of factors including abnormal development of the bones, soft ligaments or weak muscles, or abnormalities with the inner ear and balance functions.  The resulting curvature affects all of the muscles in the back, as well as the alignment of the hip.  The commonly noted symptoms of the condition include:
  • Uneven shoulders or waistline
  • One or both shoulder blades sticking out
  • Leaning slightly to one side
  • A hump on one side of the back
Cause - Spondylolisthesis
Spondylolisthesis is typically caused by a developmental defect of the arch of the vertebrae.  It can also be caused by an injury or repetitive trauma.    The slippage of the vertebra may or may not worsen over time.  Symptoms of spondylolisthesis include:
  • Low back pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Thigh or leg pain
  • Weakness

Scoliosis (Overview)

Scoliosis & Spinal Deformity

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