Scoliosis is a medical condition that causes a person’s spine to curve, sometimes leading to decreased mobility and breathing difficulties. There are several causes of scoliosis, notably due to genetics and environmental effects. Having family members with scoliosis also sometimes increases the risk of developing it. Some people with underlying problems like cerebral palsy, muscle spasms and tumors could also develop scoliosis. While the condition may not be obviously seen in its early stages, it could deteriorate and worsen over time (the best way to identify the condition is with a plain x-ray). Thus, it is better to identify and ameliorate before it gets so bad that surgery is actually need. Experienced neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Yazdi offers some pointers on how to spot scoliosis early on.
Bad Posture, Limping and Breathing Difficulties
While we cannot all have a ballerina’s flawless and graceful posture, those with scoliosis tend to appear with much worse posture compared to other people. Signs that should be looked for are uneven hips when standing straight. If one hipbone is higher than the other, this is one sign that a person might have scoliosis. Some people with scoliosis also tend to lean more on one side when standing straight. A limp that does not go away could also be a sign of scoliosis. This is caused by an irregularity in the spine, which causes the person to shift his/her weight to one side. If the scoliosis gets worse over time, the person could develop breathing difficulties, which could severely impact this person’s comfort as well as quality of life. Breathing problems due to scoliosis are caused by a deformation of the chest cavity due the severe curving of the back bone. This could compress the heart and lungs, causing the sufferer to develop breathing problems, extreme tiredness (due to a lack of oxygen), even heart failure.
Treatments For Scoliosis
Dr. Joseph Yazdi recommends two types of treatment for the condition: bracing and/or surgery. If the patient has not finished growing yet, this person can wear a back brace to keep the spine straight. Adults with pain associated with scoliosis can also benefit from wearing a back brace. The back brace must be worn for some hours to be effective, depending on the severity of the scoliosis. For more serious cases of scoliosis, Dr. Joseph Yazdi recommends surgery. Surgery is also recommended for cases when the condition is predicted to worsen over time or is causing breathing difficulties. While a completely straight back bone is rarely achieved through surgery, the procedure can significantly reduce the spine’s abnormal curvature.
Dr Joseph Yazdi’s Medical Background
Dr Joseph Yazdi attended the University of Maryland College Park for his Bachelor of Science in Zoology and Animal Biology from 1986 to 1990. He then received his medical degree in 1994 from the Hahnemann University School of Medicine. He is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and is a member of the SMISS (Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery).