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Scoliosis affects an estimated six to nine million people in the United States. While some cases are mild, it’s a chronic condition that requires monitoring. Carri Allen Jones, MD, at Peninsula Orthopedic Associates in Daly City, California, is a spine expert who can manage your scoliosis and help prevent it from causing other health concerns. If you have scoliosis or have concerns about the shape of your spine, call the office or schedule an appointment with Dr. Jones using the online booking button.
Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of your spine that causes it to look like a “C” or “S” rather than the normal “I” shape. It most often occurs during the adolescent growth spurt that occurs between ages 10 and 15, although it can develop at any age.
Scoliosis occurs equally in both girls and boys, but the curvature tends to be worse in girls. While the degree of scoliosis can vary, it requires monitoring and treatment as needed.
Dr. Jones can diagnose scoliosis after a physical examination and confirmation X-ray that shows the signature curvature. However, scoliosis causes some symptoms that may indicate you need to make an appointment for a spine evaluation.
Common symptoms of scoliosis include:
If scoliosis gets worse, the spine may rotate and cause one side of your ribs to stick out more than the other.
Treatment for scoliosis depends on the severity of your curve. For a child with a 20-degree curve or less who’s almost done growing, Dr. Jones may recommend monitoring alone.
If the child is still growing and has a curve of 30 degrees or less, then a brace is recommended to help prevent the curvature from worsening.
If the child is still growing with a curvature of 50 degrees or more, then surgery is recommended. The surgical procedure for scoliosis involves grafting bone from the hip, ribs, or backbone. Rods, hooks, screws, or wires may also be used to help keep the spine straight.
With treatment and routine follow-up with Dr. Jones, you may not experience any complications. But if your scoliosis is left untreated, your rib cage may begin to close in on your heart and lungs and affect their health. It can also lead to chronic back pain.
Scoliosis also worsens when left untreated and may begin to cause physical deformities, which may make you more self-conscious about your appearance and prevent you from doing the things you enjoy.
For expert spine care, call Peninsula Orthopedic Associates or schedule an appointment using the online booking option.