Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The management of scoliosis is determined by the severity of the scoliosis and the level of skeletal maturity. A number of methods are used to decide upon the most appropriate treatment. In many instances mild scoliosis requires no treatment.

The conventional options are:

1. Observation
2. Physiotherapy
3. Bracing or casting
4. Surgery

Bracing is only performed by the medical profession when the patient is in their growing years. (However, some controversial alternative treatments also advocate bracing of adults for correction; none of these have been subjected to rigorous peer reviewed study, and their efficacy is at best uncertain.) This holds the spine and prevents the curve from progressing. If a curve is maintained below 40° as the patient finishes growing, it is unlikely for it to continue progression when the brace is removed – if the curve exceeds this, surgery is often performed.

Bracing involves fitting the patient with a brace that covers the torso and in some cases it extends to the neck. The most commonly used brace is a TLSO or Boston Brace, a corset-like appliance from armpits to hips, custom-made from plastic. It is usually worn 23 hours a day and applies inward pressure on the curves in the spine. In infantile and sometimes juvenile scoliosis a body cast or plaster jacket can be used instead.

This article is from Wikipedia. All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License