Symptoms: What does Scoliosis feel like?
Evaluation: How is Scoliosis diagnosed?
- Physical Exam: includes evaluation of what is called a “rib hump”. A rib hump is caused by spinal rotation which in turns causes the ribs to protrude outward giving the appearance of a bump in the thoracic spine. Shoulder height, chest or waist asymmetry, changes in hip position and leg lengths will also be evaluated. An evaluation for abnormal skin markings, and a full neurologic exam will be performed.
- X-rays: X-rays are generally obtained to provide a picture of the bony spine anatomy. This will help determine the magnitude of the curve and also provide details on any bone abnormalities that may be contributing to or causing the scoliosis.
- CT Scan: Occasionally a CT scan (or CAT scan) will be ordered to provide even more detail of the anatomy or bone structure. This will provide a 3-dimensional picture of the spine and provide the surgeon with more information on what is causing the scoliosis or for pre-surgical planning.
- MRI: An MRI may also be obtained to further evaluate the soft tissue structures. This test is very helpful at looking at muscles, tendons, ligaments, discs, nerves and spinal cord. In some cases, abnormalities of the spinal cord can cause or contribute to scoliosis.
Recovery: What Can Be Expected?
Recovery depends on the treatment that was prescribed or given. Relating to surgical treatment, recovery can vary widely depending on patient age and type of surgery. Recovery after a minimally invasive surgery to un-pinch nerves only can be short with most patients returning to normal activities by 6-12 weeks. On the other end of the spectrum, recovery after major spine reconstruction and fusion can be long and arduous. It some cases patients may need a full year to reach maximal benefit after major scoliosis surgery.
Pediatric patients with idiopathic scoliosis will generally avoid surgical correction if their curve remains below 45 degrees. Those with curves less than 45 degrees when they are finished growing are unlikely to have worsening of their curve into adulthood. Those with curves greater than 50 degrees are likely to have progression of their curve at 1-2 degrees per year and are generally recommended to have surgery to stabilize or fuse their spine. Pediatric patients with curves less than 45 degrees may have slight progression as an adult or require surgery later in life related to arthritic changes of their spine
The following physicians specialize in the treatment of Scoliosis:
I first saw Dr. Chang 14 years ago …I had nerve conduction studies, followed by 8 acupuncture treatments, and was pain-free after years of chronic sciatica back pain. I then joined a local fitness center to continue the healing, as I was actually able to exercise again! I have never even had to go back for any more treatments for that health problem! His gifts of healing, experience, and expertise have changed my life forever for the better! He is compassionate, caring, kind, thorough, and so intelligent.
I returned to him years later for a very painful neck and shoulder, with the same successful results. I am now seeing him for the third time … once again for acupuncture for pain relief of a new problem area. All of my 3 treatment periods over the past 14 years have been consistent of the highest quality.
We are blessed to have Dr. Chang here in Sioux Falls. I tell others about him all the time, and try to help promote acupuncture as a viable option for pain relief. I had a “needle phobia” most of my life, so it took ALOT for me to decide to try this. If you are worried about the needles, don’t be! You will be fine!
My pain is so much better; I owe that to Dr. Baumgartner professional knowledge. He was most courteous, so was the entire staff. Even the X-ray nurse. Now my PT will get me back on track to more strength in my arms. Taking my shower, wiping off with a towel was so much easier, the very next day. I have better strength to do my daily walks, n chores, get dressed easier too. My immune system is not overwhelmed like it was when I had so much pain & inflammation in my arms, shoulders, & neck. I sleep better too.
I’ve only seen Dr. Wingate once. He was extremely thorough in studying my history with neck and back problems and the treatments I’d had over the years. While there are very few procedures available to me surgically, he offered me the possibility of some alleviation that had not been attempted previously. We are in the process of checking this out.
OI has outstanding staff and Dr’s. They are with you every step of the way-before and after surgery. It has been YEARS since I felt this good- Thanks to TEAM WINGATE (including the Spine Therapy dept) performing a successful ACDF C6/7. I definitely recommend. And… thank you Dr. Windgate!
The staff at OI are very professional and helpful and the surgeons are the best at what they do. Had foot surgery a few years ago and have also been seen for my spine and my daughter was seen for a knee injury. They’re not knife-happy, they treat conservatively and do surgery when necessary. I appreciate the time they and their PAs take to answer questions and make sure the patient knows the plan of action. The PT staff is awesome too. Very thorough and they all know what they’re doing.