Scoliosis is a common musculoskeletal disorder that causes the spine to develop a sideways curve, usually ‘S’ or ‘C’ shaped. The doctors at Orthopedic Specialists of Austin offer comprehensive scoliosis treatment. Drs. Robert Josey and Dr. Michael Moghimi are specialty-driven, fellowship-trained experts in spinal care. They will carefully determine the right treatment for you or your child, considering symptoms and the severity of spinal curvature. Whenever possible, they will begin with non-invasive therapies. Treatment options at our Austin, TX, practice can include targeted exercise, hormone replacement, physical therapy, bracing, and pain medication. If scoliosis is particularly severe, our doctors can also perform specialized surgery to improve your quality of life.
What Is Scoliosis?
There are two types of scoliosis: non-structural and structural scoliosis. Non-structural scoliosis causes the spine to develop a curved shape temporarily. It often stems from muscle spasms, inflammatory conditions, and uneven leg length, among other factors. Fortunately, once these underlying problems are treated, non-structural scoliosis will go away. Structural scoliosis causes the spine to develop in a permanent curve. It may be caused by a connective tissue disorder, a neuromuscular disease, birth defects, an injury, or tumors, among several other factors. Frequently, the cause of structural scoliosis is unknown.
Both non-structural and structural scoliosis can affect patients of all ages. Nonetheless, the condition is most common among prepubescent children. It is more likely to affect girls than boys, and there is a genetic component. Therefore girls with a family history of scoliosis should have regular spinal screenings.
Today’s modern lumbar fusion techniques allow most patients to enjoy an almost full range of motion.
Non-Surgical Scoliosis Treatment
In many cases, Drs. Josey and Moghimi can treat scoliosis solely with non-surgical methods.
- Exercise can help to maintain spinal functionality. In addition to regular physical activity, your doctor may recommend specific physical therapy regimens to strengthen the muscles in your back.
- Poor nutrition does not cause scoliosis. However, it can accelerate its progression. Accordingly, certain dietary changes can help to manage the condition. For example, Vitamin D3 and calcium supplements can strengthen your bones.
- Hormone imbalance may contribute to scoliosis, particularly for women who are going through menopause. Accordingly, hormone replacement may be a good option, often in conjunction with another treatment.
- A brace can help to prevent additional spinal curvature, especially in children. If we decides that a brace is right for your child, Dr. Josey or Dr. Moghimi will carefully choose the right type. Their recommendation will largely be based on the degree of misalignment. Though your child may not have to wear a brace constantly, daily use is important.
Because scoliosis can vary in severity, some patients with only a minor spinal curve may simply need routine checkups to monitor the condition.
Lumbar Fusion Surgery
Often, non-invasive treatments are enough to control scoliosis and prevent related health issues. However, if the curves are particularly severe, if they interfere with breathing, or if your child does not respond to bracing, lumbar fusion surgery may be appropriate. During this procedure, Dr. Josey or Dr. Moghimi will attach hooks and rods to the spine. This will cause two or more vertebrae to grow together so that they no longer develop in a curve. This procedure has a proven history of success. Though it does limit mobility to a small degree, today’s modern techniques allow most patients to enjoy an almost full range of motion. It is important to note, however, that it may be three to four weeks before you or your child can return to work or school.
Contact Us for the Care You Need
If you or your child is suffering from scoliosis, early treatment can keep the condition from growing worse. Contact Orthopedic Specialists of Austin online today to find out which treatment may be right for you. Or call (512) 476-2830 to receive answers from one of our team members.