Spinal Deformities: Types And Treatment

Humans need their bodies to function optimally to live a normal, comfortable life, one of the topmost being the spine, which serves as the body's support structure. Your spine is essential in connecting different components in your musculoskeletal system and facilitating standing, sitting, bending, twisting, and walking. But its functioning can be impeded by several issues, including spinal deformity. This piece contains all you need to know about this condition and how practitioners treat it.

What Are Spinal Deformities?

Spinal deformities refer to conditions that lead to an abnormal curve or alignment in the spine's bony vertebral column. Common symptoms of a spinal deformity include pain in the ribs or upper spine and a discernible unusual spine curve that makes the patient appear like they are hunching over. People with these issues may also feel off balance and have trouble standing or walking.  

Common Spinal Deformities

The main types of spinal deformities are:

1.       Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a medical condition that affects approximately 6-9 million people in the US. There are three common types of scoliosis: congenital, neuromuscular, and idiopathic. Congenital scoliosis is caused by the embryological malformation of at least one vertebrae. On the other hand, neuromuscular scoliosis is secondary to muscular or neurological disease. Finally, when health experts exclude all causes, the diagnosis becomes idiopathic scoliosis. The primary symptoms of this disease include uneven shoulders, leaning of the entire body to one side, and unusually high hips.

2.       Lordosis

If your lower back curves inward, you likely have lordosis. Note that a little arch is normal, but too much of it is not and is termed "sway-back". Lordosis has numerous causes, the most prevalent being muscular dystrophy, dwarfism, and arthritis. You may also inherit it from family members. Although this type of spinal deformity may have no visible symptoms, most victims experience back pain and an unusually large inward curve in the lower back.

3.       Kyphosis

Most people refer to kyphosis as a hunchback. It's characterized by an exaggerated forward arching of the back and can affect people of any age, with most patients being older women. Fractures, congenital disabilities, disk degeneration, and osteoporosis are some of the common causes of kyphosis. This disorder may cause back pain, limited physical functions, body image problems, and digestive issues like acid reflux.

Treating Spinal Deformities

Spinal deformities are treated in several ways, one of the best being spine deformity surgery. It's an intricate procedure with one primary goal: to improve spinal alignment balance using rigid fusion, address neurological symptoms, and stop further deformity. According to experts, treating spinal deformities with surgery significantly addresses issues like pain and disability and improves the general HRQOL (health-related quality of life). Plus, the procedure is minimally invasive, causing less harm to tissues and muscles.

For more information, reach out to a professional group, like The Anand Spine Group.