Scoliosis and Kyphosis

Scoliosis and kyphosis are conditions of the spine in which curvatures form in the spinal column, affecting posture, development, respiratory and other bodily functions.

The physicians and providers at the Clinical Neuroscience Institute are specially trained in the treatment of scoliosis and kyphosis. Our highly-qualified team is focused on the thorough, effective care of these conditions, and to alleviating the symptoms so you may live a comfortable, more active, and healthy life.

What are Scoliosis and Kyphosis?

Scoliosis and kyphosis are conditions of the spine that cause a curvature, affecting movement, development, or physical function. Scoliosis is commonly present at birth; kyphosis is often a result of poor posture, but can follow a spinal trauma.

Scoliosis causes the spine to curve sideways, forming an “s” or a “c” shape, rather than remaining in a straight line. Some patients are born with scoliosis – congenital scoliosis, develop the condition from another affliction of the nerves or muscles – neuromuscular scoliosis, or have idiopathic scoliosis, which has no known cause and is typically detected in children age 10 to 12, a time in which they are growing quickly. Scoliosis is believed to run in families.

Kyphosis causes the spine to abnormally curve in an outward fashion, forming a bulge in one’s posture. The condition can be a result of slouching – postural kyphosis; may be present at birth – congenital kyphosis; or can be acute and painful – Scheuermann’s kyphosis. A curve of the spine of more than 50 degrees is considered abnormal.

There is no way to prevent these conditions, and both are more common in females than males.

Diagnosing Scoliosis and Kyphosis

A physician may conduct a physical examination, review a patient’s medical history, and order certain tests to diagnose scoliosis or kyphosis. An X-ray is usually effective in the diagnosis, allowing the physician to see the type, location, and pattern of the curvature. It also allows the physician to assess the severity, measuring the curvature in degrees, which may be used to guide the course of treatment.

Treatment for Scoliosis and Kyphosis

Depending on various factors, scoliosis and kyphosis may be treated surgically or by non-invasive methods. A physician will likely Observe the progression of the curve through periodic tests. Treatment depends on the patient’s:

  • Age
  • Degree and pattern of the curve
  • Likelihood of further growth
  • Type of condition

Postural kyphosis may correct itself over time. Other forms of kyphosis and scoliosis can be treated with bracing until the spine matures. Adult patients may be prescribed anti-inflammatory medications to relieve discomfort.

In cases where scoliosis or kyphosis have caused a severe curvature of the spine, surgery may be required. A surgeon may fuse together some bones of the spine, or insert an implant to straighten the spine and keep it in place.