Perspectives on scoliosis

The Perspectives on Scoliosis stories first appeared in the Information Point newsletter Our World in 2011 following a webinar in which the Myotubular Trust, the Joshua Frase Foundation and Cure CMD joined up to help patients and families with myotubular and centronuclear myopathy and congenital dystrophies. The webinar was a free web and audio facility for all attendees and involved perspectives from eminent surgeons and clinicians in both the US and UK. To coincide with the webinar, Our World featured information about scoliosis and interviews with people who had experience of scoliosis surgery.

Scoliosis is derived from the Greek word meaning crooked and is a medical condition in which a person’s spine is curved from side to side. Although it is a complex three dimensional deformity, on an X-ray viewed from the rear, the spine of an individual with scoliosis may appear more like an ‘S’ or a ‘C’ than a straight line.

Scoliosis is typically classified in three ways:

  • congenital (caused by vertebral anomalies present at birth)
  • idiopathic (cause unknown, subclassified as infantile, juvenile, adolescent, or adult, according to when onset occurred)
  • or neuromuscular (having developed as a secondary symptom of another condition, such myotubular and centronuclear myopathy)

Around 3 out of every 100 people have some form of scoliosis, though for most people it’s not a problem. For a small number of people, including children and young adults with neuromuscular conditions in particular, the curve may get worse as they grow and they may need an operation to correct it. While small curves generally do not cause problems and may not be very noticeable to others, larger curves can cause discomfort and lead to respiratory problems when the lungs become compressed.

Shaun’s perspective | Steven’s perspective | Sukhi’s perspective

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