Bowtie and Scarf Monday

Tie One On for the Cause

This Week's Cause: Scoliosis Research Society

Scoliosis is a common condition that affects many children and adolescents. Simply defined, scoliosis is a sideways curve of the spine that measures greater than 10 degrees.

The Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) is an international society that was founded in 1966 with 35 members. It has gained recognition as one of the world's premier spine societies. SRS has maintained a commitment to research and education in the field of spinal deformities. Current membership includes more than 1,000 of the world's leading spine surgeons, researchers, physician assistants, and orthotists who are involved in research and treatment of spinal deformities.

Contributions can be made in the office of the Vice President for Student Services (110).

Common questions about scoliosis

What causes scoliosis?

In more than 80% of the cases, a specific cause is not found and such cases are termed "idiopathic," meaning "of undetermined cause." Conditions known to cause spinal deformity are congenital spinal column abnormalities, neurological disorders, muscular diseases, genetic conditions, and a multitude of other causes such as infections or fractures involving the spine.

What ill effects can result from scoliosis?

Back pain may be present. This usually tends to be mild and does not limit activities in most patients. However, a few patients have more back pain than the average. Patients with severe back pain should be carefully evaluated for other causes of back pain than scoliosis. Elderly patients with scoliosis may have greater back pain due to arthritis or disc disease in the spine. Severe scoliosis may be associated with diminished lung function due to distortion and stiffness of the rib cage.

What are the treatment options for spinal deformities?

Observation of scoliosis

Nonoperative treatment

Surgical treatment

What scoliosis research is currently being conducted?

At present, the main research focus in idiopathic scoliosis is investigation into the cause of the condition. There are many factors that may contribute to curving the spine. The main factors currently being studied are genetics (heredity), soft tissue problems (bone, muscle, ligaments, and disks), vertebral growth problems, and central nervous system disorders.

Big image