Scoliosis is a three dimensional deformity of the spine and trunk involving rotations and translations of the involved vertebrae of the spine. Scoliosis generally presents in adolescents during one of the periods of rapid growth and is defined when the angle of the curve (termed a Cobb angle) is greater than ten degrees on X-RAY.
Idiopathic scoliosis occurs in 2-3% of the general population and means that the curvature in the spine is of unknown cause. 80% of cases are termed idiopathic with the scoliosis appearing in apparently healthy children.
20% of scoliosis cases are secondary to another pathology such as Cerebral Palsy.
Management of a scoliosis is a team effort and includes:
– Orthopaedic surgeon to monitor the curve during growth. Surgery in adolescents is recommended for an angle at or greater than 50 degrees.
– Physiotherapist to help maintain strength and provide management advice. Some physiotherapists specialise in the Schroth Method to help address specific curve postural components.
– Orthotist for potential bracing if the curve is greater then 25 degrees.