Scoliosis – Definition and Treatment

Scoliosis pic
Scoliosis
Image: WebMD.com

Paul W. McDonough, MD, is a spine surgeon in Abilene, Texas. Having completed a spine surgery fellowship, he received the most advanced spinal surgery training available. One of the conditions that Dr. Paul McDonough treats in his practice is scoliosis.

Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine grows with a sideways bend instead of remaining straight. It often manifests itself during puberty, but its cause is largely unknown. Outwardly, people with scoliosis can appear to have uneven shoulders and an imbalance in the waist and buttocks. However, scoliosis can be mild or severe, and in mild cases, a person might not display outward abnormalities. In severe cases, scoliosis can complicate movement, affect lung function, and constrict the heart.

There are several methods available for treating scoliosis. A brace can be used to correct spine curvature in people whose bones are still developing. The brace fits close to the body and is practically undetectable beneath clothing. In some situations, people with scoliosis require surgery. The most common procedure is a spinal fusion. Using rods, screws, and hooks, a surgeon links bones in the vertebrae together so that they can’t move independently, which allows parts of the spine to fuse together over time.

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