• A Look at Potential Complications of Scoliosis

    Patients are diagnosed with scoliosis when their spine doctors identify an abnormal side-to-side curvature. Normally, scoliosis doesn’t result in back pain or any other symptoms. However, some cases are severe enough to cause complications. For patients with severe spine problems , surgeons may recommend a spinal fusion to prevent complications.

    scoliosis treatment

    Nerve Compression

    When the vertebrae in the spine form abnormal curvatures, it is possible that the spine can exert pressure on nearby nerves. This nerve compression can result in complications. Typically, numbness and tingling indicate a problem with the nerves. This can manifest as numbness and tingling that extends down the legs. Patients might also suffer from back pain . In very severe cases, nerve compression in the back can result in the loss of bowel or bladder control. Men may sometimes develop erectile dysfunction from nerve compression.

    Cardiac and Thoracic Problems

    When the spine shifts out of its proper position , it can create problems for other structures of the body. For example, the abnormal curvatures can push the ribcage against the patient’s lungs, which can cause problems breathing normally. If the ribcage presses against the heart, the heart may have trouble pumping enough blood. Heart failure and lung problems such as infections like pneumonia are some of the serious complications of scoliosis.

    Psychological Complications

    When scoliosis is mild, it might not affect a person much in his or her daily life. In severe cases; however, scoliosis may cause palpable discrepancies in a person’s anatomy. The patient may notice that one shoulder and hip are higher than the joints on the opposing side. Clothes may hang asymmetrically. If the patient needs to wear a back brace, he or she might have to give up certain activities. For young people, in particular, scoliosis can lead to emotional problems like poor self-esteem and increased self-consciousness. If you or your child is experiencing psychological complications of scoliosis, a patient support group may help.

    The surgical team at Spine Institute of Nevada has extensive experience treating patients with scoliosis. If you have scoliosis and live near Las Vegas, you can contact our office at (702) 239-3787 to speak with a friendly representative. We offer both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options .

  • Comparing Scoliosis in Children and Adults

    The spine naturally curves inward and outward. However, in some patients, the spine also curves from side to side. This condition is known as scoliosis . The degree of scoliosis can vary considerably from patient to patient. For some patients, scoliosis may be little more than a minor nuisance. Others might require spinal fusion surgery to prevent the problem from becoming worse.

    Scoliosis in Children & Adults Nevada

    Scoliosis in Children

    Scoliosis is most often diagnosed in children and adolescents. It is typical for the patient to not notice anything unusual. Instead, the abnormal curvature of the spine may be detected during a routine physical exam. Much of the time, children are diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis, which simply means that the cause cannot be determined. In other cases, this spinal deformity may be the result of an infection, injury, or neuromuscular disease. One major difference between this condition being present in children versus in adults is that a child’s skeletal structure is still developing. If the curvature remains mild, a spinal surgeon may recommend re-examining the curve every few months. Patients with moderate spinal curvature might need to wear a back brace to prevent the curve from progressing. Children and adolescents with severe curvatures or those that are still progressing might need surgery.

    Scoliosis in Adults

    Adults may be affected by adult idiopathic scoliosis or degenerative scoliosis. The first type is diagnosed in adults who were first found to have scoliosis as children. Those who had curves greater than 50 degrees may be more likely to experience a continuation of the abnormal curvature into adulthood. The other type, degenerative scoliosis, first begins in adulthood. It’s more common among people older than 65 years of age and it’s caused by the degeneration of the facet joints of the spine. As the facet joints deteriorate, they begin to shift, which allows the spine to curve abnormally from side to side. Generally, degenerative scoliosis is initially treated with ongoing monitoring, braces, and nerve block injections. If these options fail and the patient experiences functional problems from the condition, then surgery may be considered.

    At Spine Institute of Nevada , you’ll find a comprehensive range of solutions for patients with spinal deformities in the Las Vegas area. Our spine surgeon performs minimally invasive procedures such as spinal fusions. New and current patients can reach a friendly staff member at (702) 239-3787.

  • What Causes Scoliosis?

    Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves in an S shape. For some patients, scoliosis is mild and causes few, if any, symptoms. Other patients struggle with back pain and deformities that require treatment. There are several different types of scoliosis, each with its own cause. Continue reading to find out more about the different types and their causes.

    Spinal Scoliosis at Spine Institute of Nevada

    Idiopathic Scoliosis

    Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common form of the condition, and as the name suggests, the cause is unknown. However, while doctors have not identified a clear cause for this type of the disease, there are clues that it could be genetic in nature, as it usually runs in families. Idiopathic scoliosis is usually diagnosed during adolescence during a pediatric screening. In some cases, parents may notice the signs of idiopathic scoliosis, such as one shoulder or hip appearing higher than the other. Diagnosing idiopathic scoliosis early makes treatment easier. When it becomes advanced, spine surgery may be needed.

    Degenerative Scoliosis

    This type of scoliosis is most commonly seen in adults. It can occur after a major back surgery or as the result of an illness or injury. People with osteoporosis are especially vulnerable to degenerative scoliosis. Pain is minimal in some patients, but it can become intense. When the back pain is severe, spine surgery, such as l umbar fusion , may provide relief.

    Neuromuscular Scoliosis

    Neuromuscular scoliosis often occurs in people with spina bifida, cerebral palsy, or other conditions that affect the muscles or nerves. Bracing and other non-invasive treatments are less likely to be effective for this type of scoliosis. Treatment may include surgery and the use of a wheelchair to improve mobility.

    At the Spine Institute of Nevada, our spine surgeon provides expert care to scoliosis sufferers of all ages. Visit our spine doctor near Las Vegas to learn about your treatment options, including minimally invasive spine surgery . To make an appointment, contact us at (702) 479-7417.

  • A Look at Treatment Options for Adult Scoliosis

    Many people think of scoliosis as a childhood illness, but it can and does strike during adulthood as well. In adults, degenerative scoliosis is the most common form. It is caused by a deterioration of the facet joints, similar to osteoarthritis, and causes the spine to curve to one side. The pain can be severe, unlike scoliosis in younger patients, and the treatment options for adults are different. If you see a spine doctor near Las Vegas for your scoliosis, here are some of the treatments he or she may recommend.

    Adult Scoliosis Treatment - Spine Institute of Nevada Pain Medications

    Medications used to treat osteoarthritis are also used to treat adult scoliosis . These include non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), including over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen as well as prescription medicines such as Celebrex. Epidural injections and facet injections can also be used to decrease inflammation that is causing pain.

    Lifestyle Changes and Therapy

    Excess weight exacerbates many back problems, including adult scoliosis. By losing weight, you can decrease the pressure on your facet joints to ease the pain. Physical therapy, water therapy, and chiropractic care can also be helpful in relieving pressure on the facet joints and building muscle strength in the back. Be sure to consult with your spine doctor before undergoing any kind of therapy.

    Surgery

    If non-surgical treatments are not successful in relieving pain and increasing mobility, then spinal surgery may be the answer. Typically, spinal decompression and spinal fusion are performed to treat adult scoliosis. Pain can linger for up to 12 months following surgery, so it is only recommended for patients with severe scoliosis.

    The Spine Institute of Nevada treats scoliosis in patients of all ages using both non-surgical and surgical remedies. Don’t let back problems leave you on the sidelines. Make an appointment today by contacting us at (702) 479-7417, and get on the road to living pain-free.

  • Exercises for Scoliosis Patients

    If you’re suffering from scoliosis, there is a good chance that you are experiencing pain and stiffness on one side of your back. Although exercise may seem like the last thing you want to do when you’re in discomfort, there are some stretches that scoliosis sufferers can do to alleviate some of their symptoms.

    Watch this video to learn three simple exercises you can do if you’re living with spine pain from scoliosis. These exercises are designed to stretch the muscles on the stiff side of your back to ease your symptoms.

    If you’re living with back pain , make an appointment with the Spine Institute of Nevada. We provide minimally invasive surgery for a range of spinal conditions. To find out more, contact us at (702) 479-7417.

  • Spotting the Symptoms of Scoliosis

    If you’re experiencing the symptoms of scoliosis , getting diagnosed is crucial so you get can treatment to help prevent further damage to your spine. Although scoliosis is most commonly diagnosed during childhood, it can and does develop in adults as well, so don’t ignore the symptoms at any age. Here are some of the signs which indicate that you could be suffering from scoliosis.

    Signs that Indicate People are Suffering from Scoliosis.

    Uneven Shoulders

    With scoliosis, the spine becomes curved, which can cause the shoulders to become uneven. One shoulder may look noticeably higher than the other. Likewise, one shoulder blade may protrude more prominently than the other. This is caused by the spine pushing one side of the shoulder up and out due to the abnormal curve.

    Uneven Waist

    In much the same way that it alters the shoulders, scoliosis can change the appearance of the waist. The waist may look uneven, and one hip may be higher than the other. This can cause a difference in the length of the legs. For some people with scoliosis, this can be the first sign of the disease. They may notice that one pant leg is always longer than the other because the hips are uneven.

    Pain

    Not all cases of scoliosis cause pain. Mild cases are often difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are so minimal. However, with severe scoliosis or with scoliosis that progresses without treatment, pain is a common symptom. The spine may begin to twist and push on the ribs. In addition to making one side of the ribs push out further than the other, this can also put pressure on the spinal nerves and the lungs. As a result, people with scoliosis often develop chronic back pain . Breathing difficulties are also possible, and in extreme cases, heart damage can occur.

    Prevent scoliosis complications and address underlying pain with the help of the Spine Institute of Nevada . Our minimally invasive surger y techniques offer relief with faster recovery times than traditional surgery. Make an appointment to discuss your back problems with our surgeon by contacting us at (702) 479-7417 today.