Scoliosis Myths and the Truth
Scoliosis, while a common problem for people of all ages, is frequently misunderstood. We would like to clarify some of the misunderstandings about this spine condition, one we commonly treat with great success.
1. Having scoliosis does not mean that you will be unable to have children or have trouble with giving birth normally. Scoliosis does not impact conception and most of the time women have no problems with pregnancy and labor. You should make your obstetrician or midwife aware of your condition beforehand to ensure a safe and comfortable delivery. Should you be considering an epidural, your anesthetist will want to know in advance.
2. Spinal surgery is the only proven way of treating scoliosis and correcting spinal curvature, except in the case of growing children and smaller curves, where bracing can be useful. Treatments such as physiotherapy and exercise routines can help improve posture but will not reduce the size of a curve or slow down worsening of the curve.
3. Having scoliosis doesn’t mean that a child cannot participate in sports or physical education. People should try to remain fit and active to keep their back strong. Always check with a specialist about what sports activities are safe following correction or during treatment for a spinal curvature.
4. Having hardware in your spine will not necessarily set off the metal detector at airports. Even if the detectors do activate, the airport security will be able to see your scar when you show them and it won’t cause a problem. A letter from a doctor is not needed.
5. Scoliosis cannot be prevented. It is not caused by carrying heavy items or anything a child or parent did or did not do. In most instances scoliosis is idiopathic, which means there is no known cause.
6. Scoliosis can worsen very quickly during adolescence because children grow faster during this time. Do not blame yourself as a parent for not spotting the curvature sooner. Your child’s scoliosis will probably have developed quickly and can seem to have come out of nowhere. What might have been a straight spine a few weeks before may suddenly show signs of curving.
7. After surgery, many people think that they cannot take part in activities such as baseball, sky diving, and contact sports. Most patients will be able to do these things after a time. However, it is very important to check with your specialist to make sure you are back to full health before taking part in such activities.
8. Of course, with any surgery there are risks and with spinal surgery there is a very small chance of paralysis. The important thing to remember is that paralysis happens very rarely. The scoliosis specialists quantify all the pros and cons. If they feel the risks are too great, they will not do the operation.
9. Just because you are diagnosed with scoliosis does not mean you will need to have an operation. If the curve of your spine is very big or growing quickly, surgery might be recommended. However, many people simply need to have their spines checked regularly to make sure the curve isn’t getting bigger.
If you’re looking for an experienced neurosurgeon specializing in spinal surgery located on Long Island in the Garden City area, please Contact Dr. Cohen Today! 516.246.5008
Dr. Benjamin R. Cohen
200 Garden City Plaza, Suite 102
Garden City, NY 11530