Different Types of Scoliosis|health women for better life

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Different Types of Scoliosis

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A highly distinctive characteristic of humans is the ability to walk upright. Our skeletal and muscular systems are both designed to allow us to stand and walk upright. The major support for this is the spinal column. Unfortunately, things can go wrong, and in some people, the spine does not develop as it should.

Most people have a spine that appears straight up and down when viewed from behind. In some people, however, there is a noticeable curve from side to side. This condition is called scoliosis, from an ancient Greek word meaning curved or crooked. There are many types of scoliosis, with different causes and ages of onset. Between one and three percent of people have some form of scoliosis.

The most common form of scoliosis is called Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS). Idiopathic is used by doctors to describe conditions for which they cannot find the cause, although the odds of developing scoliosis are much greater if there is a family history of the disorder. AIS is usually diagnosed during the growth spurts of early adolescence. Cases requiring treatment are up to ten times more prevalent in girls than in boys.

Treatment for AIS varies depending on the severity of the curve. The Cobb angle is a measurement of the deviation of the spine. A Cobb angle of more than ten degrees is necessary for a technical diagnosis of scoliosis. If a Cobb angle of between ten and twenty degrees is present, no treatment is necessary, although regular observation will be necessary to check that it is not progressing.

Cobb angles between twenty and forty degrees are often treated with braces. Different braces have been developed to support curvatures in different areas of the spine. Bracing cannot cure scoliosis but can prevent the curvature from progressing.

Surgery may be necessary in cases of more severe curvature, with a Cobb angle of forty to fifty degrees. There have been many advances in surgery over the past few decades. The use of metal implants and spinal fusion means a shorter recovery period and reduces the necessity of wearing a cast after surgery. The prognosis after surgery is very good. Many patients go on to live full normal lives, with the only restriction they face being contact sports.

Idiopathic scoliosis can occur in children younger than two years old (Infantile Scoliosis) or in children between two and ten (Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis). Other types of scoliosis are Congenital Scoliosis which develops because of a congenital abnormality in the vertebrae, often associated with other congenital abnormalities. Muscular Dystrophy and other neuromuscular disorders can also sometimes result in scoliosis.

Complications of scoliosis can include deformity and severe chronic back pain. If the ribcage is involved there can be problems with the heart and lungs being compressed, leading to breathing problems and decreased circulation. The risk of bone loss and osteoporosis in later life is also increased.

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