Personalized treatments for people with back pain and spine disorders
Published: Sept. 29, 2010
Updated: Nov. 17, 2010
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spinal column. The spine assumes an “S-shaped” configuration.
There are many cases of scoliosis including congenital conditions, spinal tumors, and degenerative spinal conditions. The majority of scoliosis cases are idiopathic, meaning no underlying cause can be found.
Many cases of scoliosis are asymptomatic. Other cases may present with increasing S-shaped deformity of the spine, back pain, and leg pain.
Weakness may be seen when there is associated spinal stenosis or when there is an associated tumor.
Your physician will obtain the history of your pain and perform a physical examination to determine if you may have scoliosis. Additional diagnostic studies include x-rays, myelogram, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) scans to fully assess the degree of curvature of the spinal column and associated conditions.
Many cases of scoliosis may be managed conservatively, especially when there are no associated clinical symptoms. Bracing has been shown to be affective in some cases of pediatric scoliosis. Annual x-ray studies may be performed to monitor for curve progression over time.
Associated lower back or leg pain may be managed with physical therapy or epidural steroid injections. Development of new neurologic symptoms or rapid curve progression may warrant surgical intervention.
The Duke Spine Center offers a number of operative and non-operative techniques for the management of scoliosis. Our team of experts will put their years of experience and training to work for you to get you back on your feet.