Is correcting scoliosis possible? Early diagnosis makes all the difference

Scoliosis is a structural pathology (dysmorphism) that leads to the formation of a curve in the spinal column. It is a true rotational deformity that is permanent and evolving, i.e. it tends to worsen with time

It must always be distinguished from the ‘scoliotic attitude’ (paramorphism) that is frequent in boys and is mostly linked to incorrect postures maintained at school and during study in which the spine presents a simple postural deviation that is completely correctable and without any vertebral rotation or hump.

Most scoliosis affect the growth phase and are idiopathic (around 80%) and, therefore, their causes are unknown

If not treated early, they can cause major deformities with consequent repercussions on the quality of life of adolescents and adults.

It is therefore important to continue to raise awareness in order to achieve an early diagnosis that changes the treatment.

Observation of young patients’ backs should start with the parents and continue with the paediatrician.

Summer is the ideal time to observe your child’s back.

With lighter clothing, on the beach or in the swimming pool, it is certainly easier to highlight body asymmetries and spinal deformities.

In all these cases, a specialist examination is indicated to rule out the presence of scoliosis.

What does familial scoliosis mean?

Idiopathic scoliosis is a familial disease, meaning that if someone in the family has it, it is more likely, but not certain, that others also suffer from it, albeit with different severity.

It is now known that there is a genetic basis, and if among close relatives (e.g. mother, father, sister, uncles, cousins) there is someone with scoliosis, a careful and frequent clinical check-up is always advisable, especially at the onset of puberty, which is the most critical period for this disease.

How many scolioses require treatment?

The prevalence of scoliosis in the population is 2-3%.

Approximately 10% of these cases require conservative treatment with corrective corsets and fortunately only 0.1-0.3% require surgery to correct the deformity.

What are the treatments?

Scoliosis is still viewed as a difficult condition to treat, whereas science continues to give us great opportunities.

A multidisciplinary approach with specialists who have an all-round understanding of scoliosis is successful, ensuring the best possible treatment.

Scoliosis cannot be cured; the goal is to contain it, rebalance it by improving aesthetics and preventing problems in adulthood.

The type of treatment depends on the severity of the curve and the age of the patient.

In milder cases, clinical monitoring with periodic specialist visits combined with a customised physiotherapy course is sufficient.

If the scoliosis is more pronounced (20-40 degrees), it is necessary to wear a corset with corrective thrusts made strictly to measure.

Modern corsets are well-tolerated by children and, if correctly fitted, fit well into their everyday life.

Conservative treatment with corsets and exercises, if done early, leads to great results in terms of both the scoliotic curve and body aesthetics.

Surgical treatment is indicated in more severe (>40 degrees) evolving scoliosis and aims to correct and arrest the curve with a good aesthetic gain.

Spinal surgery has made great strides in recent years.

New techniques combined with increasingly advanced spinal fixation instruments have been introduced.

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