Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that usually starts to develop in children just before and during the puberty. Scoliosis is a three-dimensional spine deformity characterized by side (>10°) and rotational curvature of the spine. The most common form is called adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), which usually becomes evident in the early adolescent years in approximately 3% of children under age 16 and has a genetic tendency. Less common scoliosis types are sometimes caused by cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, neurological diseases, birth defects, or spinal injuries.
Signs and symptoms
- There will be a change in the appearance of the child suffering from scoliosis. The shoulders will become uneven, and one may become more prominent than the other. The waist may become uneven or one hip may become higher than the other. In some cases, the spine twists, causing the ribs on one side to stick out.
- Neck and/or mid-lower back pain can also be present, specially in more significant curves.
- Speak to the spine specialist at King’s to understand the available treatments for scoliosis.
- Effective treatment of patients with scoliosis should be able to reduce the risk of a curve progressing, or, for more significant deformities, to be able to identify patients who would benefit from surgery before the deformity progresses to a degree that increases the risks associated with surgery.
- Brace treatment for moderate scoliosis (25-40°) has been the most prescribed non-operative method of treatment during the adolescence.
- Specific exercises used to supplement brace wear or prevent progression in mild curves guided by the physiotherapy and rehabilitation team can be helpful as well.
- High quality studies have established that non-operative treatment with bracing and exercises may reduce the number of patients progressing to a surgical level. To be effective, however, these treatments need to be applied to smaller curves prior to skeletal maturity. This places emphasis on the need for earlier detection of spinal deformities by the proper screening.
- Cases of severe and progressive spinal deformities, despite conservative treatment, can be treated thorough different surgical techniques, including the use of the new magnetic growing rods device for early-onset scoliosis, anterior, posterior or combined spinal approaches for spinal correction and fixation, among others. If detected and operated at the appropriate timing, at the specialized center, the surgery can achieve better correction of the deformity, with less risk of complications.
- The surgery can be performed using conventional or mini-open techniques, according to the case.
- In order to achieve the best results with lesser risks to the patient, King’s College Hospital Dubai offer the most advanced technology to perform spinal surgeries, including:
- Spinal neuronavigation, which is like a “GPS”, and “O-arm” for 3D image acquisition to assist the surgeon to locate the main anatomical structures and the spinal implants during all the main steps of the procedure.
- Intraoperative neuromonitoring to check the nerves and spinal cord during the operation to maximize the safety of the surgery.
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