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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Patient Information from Medical Media Images: Thoracic Scoliosis (Abnormal Curvature of the Mid-Back) - Part I

The following text and images are Copyright Medical Media Images:

                                  Thoracic Scoliosis
                       (Abnormal Curvature of the Mid-Back)

                           What does "Scoliosis" mean?

The word “scoliosis” comes from the Greek word “scolios” which means “crooked”. A scoliosis of the spine is a “crooked” spine.

                          What is a Thoracic Scoliosis?

A Scoliosis is a deformity of the spine where the spine looks “s-shaped” when looking at it from behind. Looking at it from the side it is normal to have an S-shaped curvature.

A scoliosis is defined by a curvature and rotation of vertebrae of the spine of more than 10 degrees when viewed on an X-Ray.

This is a Color X-Ray Image of a severe Scoliosis which involves the Thoracic (mid-back) and Lumbar (low-back) Spine.

               What are the different types of Thoracic Scoliosis?

Scoliosis curvatures can be mainly divided into 3 groups:

1.     Congenital: those which are present at birth (25%)

2.     Idopathic: those which for reasons unknown (65%)

3.     Neuromuscular: those which are due to diseases of the nerves or muscles (10%)
                                     What is an "Idiopathic" Scoliosis?

Even though idiopathic scoliosis does not have a known reason, it is suspected that it is genetic in nature. However, the exact gene is not known. Adolescent (middle, late childhood) idiopathic scoliosis is the most common form of scoliosis overall. This disease is self-limiting, meaning it comes to an end when we stop growing. It is more common in girls than boys.
This Image is a Color X-Ray which shows a curvature of the Thoracic Spine (mid-back) as outlined by the Red Line.
                                 What is a Pseudoscoliosis?
 In adults, an idiopathic scoliosis is often seen as a form of degenerative disease of the spine. When spinal discs and joints degenerate more on one side of the spine than the other, a “pseudoscoliosis” develops. Pseudoscoliosis means that it looks like a scoliosis from childhood, but it actually is not.
                                How common is a Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is present in 2-4% of children between the ages of 10 – 16 years of age. Overall Scoliosis affects approximately 2% of the population. There is a strong genetic component. If there is a family history of scoliosis, there is a 20% chance of passing it on.

What Symptoms do Patients experience from a Thoracic Scoliosis?

In children, the beginning of a scoliosis is usually at ages 6-8. Scoliosis is typically a “silent disease”, meaning it is typically not painful and the parents may not be aware.
Here are some possible observations parents can make to be suspicious of a scoliosis:
1. The child is leaning to one side when standing or walking
2. The waist seems higher on one side
3. The shoulders seem uneven when standing or walking
4. One shoulder blade seems to stick out more than the other, especially when bending forward
           Do Adolescent Scoliosis just get worse over time?
Adolescent scoliosis do not necessarily worsen over time. Some remain quite stable even while the child is growing. When children stop growing, so does the scoliosis. Only 10% of children with scoliosis require some type of medical intervention.


          Stay tuned for Part II of our Blog on Thoracic Scoliosis






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Medical Media Images does NOT dispense medical or legal advice. Our images, text and any content cannot be used for diagnosis or treatment of a medical condition. All Images and content are for information purposes only. You must consult with your physician if you need medical advice. Medical Media Images is not a substitute for medical advice.


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