Spinal deformity or "the crooked spine" refers to the abnormal forward and sideward bending of the spine. Side to side curvature of the spine is called Scoliosis and forward bending of the spine is called Kyphosis. In practice, most of the spinal deformities involve a varying combination of scoliosis and Kyphosis and hence the term Kypho-scoliosis is used for a combination deformity, Scoliosis for a predominant side bending deformity and Kyphosis for predominant forward bending deformity.
This abnormal curvature of the spine develops from uneven growth of the spine due to variety of reasons, with one side growing faster than the other. This condition progresses mostly during the growth spurt of children from 10 to16 years of age. The condition if left untreated can result in unsightly back deformity and these children are not accepted well in the society due to false beliefs and superstitions.Myths and Facts about Spinal Deformity
FACT: The condition results from uneven growth of the spine during the growing period.
FACT: Teenagers suffer profound psychological trauma and isolation for no fault or wrongdoing on their part. Teenagers become outcast from society, affecting their career and marital prospects adversely.
FACT: Spinal Deformity does not cause by itself any type of mental or physical handicap. They are not mentally retarded and can do all activities done by a normal child of same age.
FACT: Spinal deformity does not alter the life expectancy and Children with crooked spine have normal life span. Also the condition does not cause any disability or pain at this age. However, if the deformity is neglected and allowed to progress with the curve exceeding 100 degrees, the functioning of heart and lungs may be affected. In this situation the child may have difficulty in breathing and in extreme cases may lead to a life threatening condition.
FACT: The field of spine surgery has been progressing rapidly in the last two decades with thorough understanding of dynamics of spinal deformities. A safe and effective surgical solution is possible now possible for children with spinal deformities. As the rest of the body organs and functions are essentially normal, a timely corrective surgery can be life-changing for these children as they can lead a normal adult life with full life span.
FACT: Today Surgery for spinal deformity is about 98% safe. World-wide studies have shown that the results of these surgeries are excellent with risk of paralysis to be less than 1% in most cases and about 2% in severe cases (SRS morbidity and Mortality data 2011).
Fact: With advancement in spinal instrumentation and techniques, spinal deformity surgery can now be done at any age starting from as young as 1-2 years. It is very important to address the deformity early to avoid progression of the curve beyond 80-100 degree, when it can become life-threatening.
The impact of treating a teenager with spinal deformity or crooked spine extends beyond the individual as he or she can become a productive young adult contributing to the family and society at large. It has a huge impact on the self-image of the teenager giving self-confidence and relieves psychological trauma of being an outcast in the eyes of society.
According to international studies, an average of 2-3% of adolescents suffer from scoliosis which can progress during the growth spurt. However, only 0.2-0.3% require surgical intervention when the curve progresses beyond 40-50 degrees. There is no non-surgical intervention to correct this deformity once the severity of the curve crosses 50 degrees.
M.S (Ortho) AIIMS
M.S (Ortho) AIIMS
MS Ortho, AFSA Spine(France)
Fellowship in Spine Surgery
M.B.B.S MRC Psych (UK)
Secretary & Co-ordinator