Indiana Scoliosis Specialists
What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is the outcome of a progressive 3D deformation of the spine.
- Scoliosis affects between 2 and 3% of the population.
- Among the most severe scoliosis cases, 8 out of 10 are young females.
- Scoliosis begins in childhood or adolescence. It occurs at different ages and is categorized accordingly as an infantile, juvenile or adolescent scoliosis. It can be detected at all ages but as it is very much related to growth, it is most common in adolescence.
- In more than 80% of the cases, the real cause of scoliosis remains unknown; this is why it’s called idiopathic. There are many hypotheses being studied by researchers. Heredity and growth control mechanisms are the main focus for modern research. While there is no scientific consensus on the precise cause and progression factors of idiopathic scoliosis, enough is known to improve non-surgical treatments.
If untreated, most severe scoliotic deformations have mid and long-term consequences on:
- Vital functions: respiratory and cardiac pathology
- Locomotion: pain and mobility limitation
- Aesthetic: hunchbacked aspect and short trunk.
- Scoliosis may be detected by your doctor while performing a routine check-up. If necessary, it will be confirmed with an X-ray of your back.
- School screening, unfortunately, is not very common in most countries but it is the best way to detect scoliosis early. Usually, this is done using an instrument call a scoliometer, which is a simple angle finder or inclinometer that measures rotations of the spine/rib cage. A nurse, or other health-care professional with special training, can check a child within two minutes using a scoliometer. It is simple to use and it is even possible for a parent to check their own child following some simple instructions. Please Note: As of July 1, 2007, Indiana schools are no longer mandated by State Law to assess for scoliosis.
- It is important to follow-up on the deformation evolution, especially during childhood. This surveillance must be done by an orthopedic doctor through regular check-ups, every 3 to 6 months, depending on the severity of the curve, the age of the child and the family history. These check-ups include a physical examination and an X-ray, if necessary.
- Scoliosis is quantified by the measurement of the angle of your spine curvature on the X-ray. This is called the Cobb angle.
- General non-surgical treatment indications are: skeletally immature children with curves of 15º or more combined with either proven progression (5º or more in six months or less) or strong family history.
SpineCor® treatment was developed in the early 1990s and utilizes a Dynamic Corrective Brace (DCB), together with a completely new treatment approach requiring clinical assistant diagnostic software (SAS) to allow accurate fitting and treatment follow up.
Following 12 years of clinical research and trials, SpineCor® is now rapidly being made available to patients around the world.
The initial excellent clinical results produced by the research center at Ste Justine Hospital and the University of Montreal, Canada, have since been replicated by more than 80 other treatment centers around the world. SpineCor® has shown to be effective in 89% of cases (either by stablization or improvement in (Cobb) angle of the curve).
SpineCor®’s unique treatment approach offers improvement over traditional braces, which are essentially static or allow minimal movement, due to its true totally dynamic action. Fundamental research by independent research groups now indicates that a significant dynamic action is required on the spine (vertebral growth plates) to alter the abnormal growth progressing the deformity in scoliosis patients.
The SpineCor® treatment approach is completely different to that of traditional braces that use 3-point pressure and distraction; it is the first and only true dynamic bracing system for idiopathic scoliosis. SpineCor®’s unique approach to treatment by global postural re-education has been shown to give progressive correction over time which, unlike any previous brace treatment, is extremely stable post brace weaning.
Clinical experience to date also shows better compliance and cosmetic results.
- Allows patients four hours per day out of brace
- Allows total freedom of movement
- Offers better appearance under clothing, and
- Is cooler to wear.
With all of these benefits, it is not difficult to see why compliance might be better than with bulky, rigid braces that severely restrict movement and must be worn 23 hours per day.
Although to date no specific study has been undertaken to quantify cosmetic improvement, subjectively, some striking improvements have been observed clinically. Additionally, some very positive postural changes have been noted in cases where there has been no change in Cobb angle.
- A treatment approach based on the latest understanding of the cause and progression factors of Idiopathic scoliosis.
- A much more acceptable treatment to patients, being cooler to wear, less restrictive, more easily concealed under clothing and 4 hours of out of brace time per day.
- No side effects. Rigid braces cause muscle atrophy and can be harmful to normal development in a growing child.
- Excellent treatment results, particularly when treatment is started early.
- Excellent stability of treatment results post bracing.
- Neuromuscular integration for maintenance of improved posture.
- Potential to reduce incidence of surgical intervention.
SpineCor® is a highly effective for the early treatment of idiopathic scoliosis as demonstrated in the case study and also offers significant benefits to patients who present late. The real challenge is, therefore, to increase awareness of the absolute importance of early diagnosis and, that a viable treatment for early intervention is now available. Clearly it is easier to prevent progression of a small curve than to reverse the deformity in a large curve.
Timing is of absolute importance – the later treatment is started the lesser the possibility there is to change the curve, as the child’s growth runs out so does the possibility to make any change.