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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What is a Scoliosis? Shown and Explained with Color X-Ray Images

A Scoliosis is a "S-Shaped" curvature when looking at the Spine from behind. The majority of Scoliosis cases are called "idiopathic", meaning no specific reason is known. These types of Scoliosis cases typically start in our childhood. The Scoliosis Curvature affects primarily the mid-back (thoracic spine) and low back (lumbar spine).

The Image below shows a typical Scoliosis. In the mid-back (thoracic spine), the curvature travels to the left, while the low back (lumbar spine) compensates with a right sided curvature. This allows the patient to appear straight overall. This Image is Interactive. As you move your mouse cursor over the Image, Interactive Image Tags appear. Each Tag explains a specific part of the Image.

Color Scoliosis X-Ray of a Thoraco-Lumbar Scoliosis
Interactive Color X-Ray of a Scoliosis

The next Image shows a more severe Scoliosis. The mid-back (thoracic spine) curvature involves the entire mid-back, and points dramatically to the left. These severe types of Scoliosis can affect the function of the lung and heart, and frequently require Surgery.
AP Color X-Ray Image showing a Severe Scoliosis
Color X-Ray Image showing a severe Scoliosis
The Image below shows a surgical correction of a Scoliosis. Titanium bars are anchored to the Vertebrae with Titanium Screws. The bars stabilize the Spine and allow it to remain straight for the long term.
Interactive Color X-Ray of a Scoliosis and a Scoliosis Fusion

Not all cases of Scoliosis require Surgery. In most instances, the Orthopaedic Surgeon will take X-Rays at certain intervals to assess the status of the Curvature. Each time, the angle (Cobb Angle) of the curvature is measured to see if it is progressing. By time a person stops growing, so will the Scoliosis.
Here is a Blog which explains the Cobb Angle Measurements:
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