Treating Abnormalities of the Spine
Spinal deformities refer to unnatural curvatures of the spine resulting
from damage to the spinal column, such as damage caused by fractures or
ankylosing spondylitis (Bechterew’s disease), or various defects
and congenital conditions that cause the spine to grow unevenly.
Common conditions or defects that result in spinal deformity include:
Scoliosis – Characterized by a side to side curvature of the spine, scoliosis
may not have noticeable symptoms until it progresses. While bracing may
be effective, surgery is often used to correct severe curvature, especially
when it impacts a person’s mobility.
Kyphosis – The term kyphosis is used to describe excess forward curvature
in the upper back (thoracic spine), although it can also sometimes affect
the neck (cervical spine) or lower back (lumbar). Kyphosis can create
an appearance that a person is hunched forward, and in severe cases can
lead to fatigue, back pain, breathing difficulties, and difficulty with
standing upright. Depending on the nature of the condition and its severity,
kyphosis can be treated with non-surgical methods, including physical
therapy, or surgery to re-align the spine and prevent deformity from progressing.
Spondylolisthesis – Spondylolisthesis is a disorder involving a vertebra that slips
over the bone below it. It can cause spinal deformity and back or sciatica
nerve pain and weakness that limits a person’s activity level, including
walking. Surgery may be used to treat severe grades of slippage or patients
who do not find pain relief or improved motion through non-surgical treatment.
Treating Spinal Deformity
Treating a spinal deformity will always depend on the underlying problem
unique to the patient being treated, which is why our specialists closely
evaluate patients and utilize advanced diagnostic tools to address the
root of their symptoms. In many cases, patients may not experience pain
as a result of the deformity, but may experience a severe restriction
in movement, activity level and weakness. In other cases, the underlying
condition that causes deformity may also cause severe and chronic pain.
When an underlying condition does not respond to non-surgical treatment
physical therapy, and exercise, spine surgery may be recommended. Although cases vary,
surgery focuses largely on restoring the spine to its normal position,
preventing progression of deformity, alleviating pain, and improving motion.
Spinal fusion is a common surgical procedure used to treat conditions and problems that
lead to spinal deformity.
Get Started by Finding an Orange County Spine Doctor
From patient evaluations and diagnostic testing to conservative treatment
and surgical procedures, the Center for Spine at Hoag Orthopedic Institute
is able to leverage the experience of our spine doctors, nurses, and experts
to offer the comprehensive care patients need to improve their quality
of life and navigate their recoveries.
If you wish to learn more about treating spinal deformity, browse our physician
directory to find a
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