Scoliosis and kyphosis
Scoliosis is a lateral (sidewards) curve in the spine. It can affect people of all ages. One of the most common types is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) which affects children going through puberty; most children do not require any treatment but some may require brace therapy. If the curve becomes large, a discussion needs to take place to discuss whether an operation is appropriate.
Degenerative scoliosis is another common type of scoliosis. This occurs in a large number of older people and is due to the age-related changes in the lumbar spine. It can cause problems with leaning forwards or off to the side, and may also cause pressure on nerves resulting in sciatica. Full assessment and discussion will provide treatment options and allow the optimum course of action.
Kyphosis is a forward bend in the spine. In younger people, it may be as a result of wedging of the vertebral bodies. However, it is a very common finding in older people and is part of the normal ageing process in the spine. Most people progress very well with muscle strengthening exercises. However, in younger people with progressive deformity, or older people with nerve compression or severe pain, an operation may be appropriate. A full assessment and discussion is required to ensure the correct treatment options are considered.