No announcement yet.

Which way do you curve?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Which way do you curve?

    In which direction does your scoliosis curve? My spine heads off to the right. Also, my torso is torqued to the right, so, if you look at me from the side, the right side of my body is in front of the left side. I'm right-handed, if that has anything to do with it.

    It's difficult to sit comfortably, and to reach things. I'm sure I'm not the only quad with this problem.

    Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

    My upper left curve presses against my left shoulder blade, the lower right curve is at the high lumbar level. Because my chin is aligned with my pubic bone, I don't "look" scoliotic although a trained eye can tell because my left shoulder is higher than my right, my neck kind of slants towrds the right and my rib cage is rotated towards the left.


      Before my last spine surgeries I had severe kyphosis, which made me resemble the hunchback of Notre Dame. I also had a lumbar lateral curve to the left. I lived with the curvature for many years and became an expert at hiding the deformity with clothing.

      How noticable are your curves? Hmm, that could be taken the wrong way!!!


        Crooked little girl..

        i use to have a perfectly "straight" (ill never be straight..haha) spine. now it goes from the left then to the right. my right hip sticks out to the right, then my upper body leans towards the left.
        Could this be scolios? When i stand w/braces, im all crooked too???
        Im a Para too


          It's noticeable. Not as bad as those examples you see on websites dealing with scoliosis, but definitely easily visible to the naked eye.

          Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.


            How to tell if you have scoliosis

            A scoliosis is a lateral curve of the spine. A kyphosis is a forward curve (convex to the front) while a lordosis is a backward curve (convex to the back). The normal spinal column should have a slight lordosis. The Scoliosis Research Society defines a scoliosis as a lateral curvature of the spinal column that exceeds 10 degrees. In many people, scoliosis may be combined with kyphosis and this condition is called kyphoscoliosis. Lateral x-rays are necessary to determine kyphosis.


            A curvature of the spine in scoliosis is often hard to see (particularly if it is mild). The spine often compensates for a curvature in one place with a reverse curve in the opposite direction at another level, i.e. an S-shape.
            Therefore, if a person is sitting or standing up straight, you often cannot see a curvature. However, scoliosis of the thoracic vertebra is almost always associated with a rotation of the vertebral bodies. This can be seen as a rotation of the rib cage. So, most doctors will ask a person to bend at the waist until the thoracic spine is parallel to the ground. He/she will then look down the midline of the back and note whether the rib cage is elevated on one side versus the other. When the rib cage is visibly rotated, this is usually indicative of scoliosis.

            The definitive diagosis of scoliosis is of course made with an anterior-posterior x-ray of the spinal column. As many as 1 out of 750 people in the United States have scoliosis, i.e. 350,000 people. It is more prevalent in females, close to 2% of school girls may have scoliosis. However, if only scoliotic curves exceeding 30 degrees are counted, only 0.2% of the population have such scoliosis. Generally, surgical treatment is not recommended until the curve exceeds 30 degrees although bracing and other approaches are frequently employed to prevent progression of slight curvatures. For obvious reasons, it is not a good idea to screen all people with x-rays and therefore many attempts have been made to develop devices that can measure scoliosis without x-rays

            To measure the severity of scoliosis, doctors usually measure three aspects of the X-ray.
            1. Take the largest curve, find the top vertebral body and the bottom vertebral body of that curve, draw straight lines through the lateral processes of these bodies. Where the two lines intersect, measure the angle. This is called Cobb's angle.
            2. To assess rotation of vertebral bodies, the following approach is used on anterior-posterior x-rays. The posterior spinous process (the part that sticks out the back) should be in the center of the vertebral body and it is usually of a certain thickness. If the spinous process is one thickness away from the midline, this is called a +1 rotation. If it is 2, it is called as +2. Usually, a +3 rotation is considered severe, representing a 40-60 degree rotation of the vertebral body.
            3. Other tilts, rotations, or kyphosis of the spinal column and the sacrum should be noted and measured, if possible. In a person with spinal cord injury and who cannot stand, the x-ray must be taken in the person lying on their back and their feet aligned. Deviations of the sacrum, shoulder blades (scapula), etc. from the horizontal are measured.



              Ha. That's interesting. My PT in inpatient told me that scoliosis wasn't a possible complication.

              Eric Texley
              Eric Texley


                So we shouldn't be x-rayed in a seated position to check for scoliosis?

                Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.



                  People, scoliosis is something very usual to happen after a spinal injury, and without exercise it happen often. I think you should check if your chair is right for you, and also to try to seat in regular chair for some hours in a day if its possible, this are going to make your back to work a little more and the muscles in the trunk will get stronger dellaying the scloiosis to happen. Another good exercise is to try to seat without back rest. Also lean forward and try to get back from this position, this one you may need help, someone to be in front of you. In the begin you can help with the hands but try each day to have less and less help. I am sure this are going to help to have better ballance and stronger back.


                    The "lopsided" feeling is damn annoying, isn't it?

                    Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.


                      This is an old article but I wonder if this technique can be used to correct paralytic scoliosis.

                      University Of Florida Physicians Use Minimally Invasive Techniques To Correct Spinal Problems

                      By Melanie Fridl Ross, Shands Public Relations
                      GAINESVILLE, Fla.---Sam LoPalo had suffered back problems for years, but nothing prepared him for the day he bent over and couldn't straighten again.

                      Excruciating pain radiated down his leg. For days afterward, he barely could hobble from his bed to a recliner. Once in the chair, he'd stay there for hours.

                      LoPalo took pain-relievers on a regular basis, but nothing -- not even physical therapy -- brought him relief. Tests revealed two fragments of a lumbar vertebral disc were pressing on a nerve root.

                      "If you want to put one word on it, I was miserable," said the 60-year-old Gainesville resident.

                      Conventional surgery would have been a lengthy procedure, involving a long incision and a long hospital stay. Risks would have ranged from significant blood loss to infection. University of Florida neurosurgeons and orthopedists offered LoPalo an alternative: a minimally invasive approach to back surgery that helps patients with many kinds of spinal conditions, from slipped discs to scoliosis.

                      In February, using tiny incisions and guided by a small video camera, they operated on LoPalo at Shands at the University of Florida. The next day, he walked down the hospital hallway. Twenty-four hours after surgery, LoPalo no longer needed pain medicine.

                      Through procedures like this one, also known as endoscopy, UF neurosurgeons are revolutionizing back surgery.

                      While endoscopy has been commonplace in general surgery for several years, only recently has it been adapted for spinal surgery, said neurosurgeon Richard Fessler, a professor in the departments of neurosurgery and neuroscience at UF's College of Medicine, the UF Brain Institute and the UF Shands Neurological Center. He also is medical director of the Shands Spinal Cord Injury program and co-surgical director of the SpineCare Center. The development of specialized instruments and refinements in video camera clarity have led the way for new and improved minimally invasive approaches to spinal surgery, he said.

                      Thanks primarily to smaller incisions, benefits to the patient include decreased blood loss and risk of infection, reduced postoperative pain and recovery time, shorter hospital and intensive care unit stays, a quicker return to normal activities and lower health-care costs.

                      "Most patients return to completely normal activities within two weeks," Fessler said. "Patients have far less pain, their hospitalization is about half as long and the cost tends to be about half as much overall.

                      "Some of these techniques are very new and very ground-breaking," he added. "We are among the first in the nation to use this approach for such a wide selection of procedures."

                      For example, surgeons can now avoid making a large incision and splitting the chest to operate on the thoracic spine, widely exposing the operative area. Instead, they use a tiny camera called a thoroscope and a series of small incisions. Using probes equipped with light-emitting diodes, information is relayed back to a computer and displayed on a video screen, showing surgeons what they might not otherwise be able to physically see.

                      "The camera gives us an excellent ability to see exactly what we're doing but without directly exposing the area," Fessler said.

                      The method also can be used to remove infections or to fuse the spine to strengthen it after previous failed back surgery.

                      "Not all patients can opt for a minimally invasive technique, but a large percentage with isolated problems can be helped," said Dr. Michael MacMillan, an associate professor of orthopedics at UF's College of Medicine and co-surgical director of the SpineCare Center.

                      For LoPalo, the decision was easy.

                      "To me, this was a no-brainer," he said. "This was definitely the way to go. I'm really grateful. It was a very positive experience."

                      Founded in 1958, Shands at the University of Florida is a 576-bed not-for-profit tertiary- and quaternary-care facility that serves as one of the Southeast's leading treatment and referral centers. Shands offers a full complement of medical, surgical, pediatric, obstetrical and psychiatric services.

                      Shands was recognized among the top hospitals in the United States and Canada in the most recent edition of "The Best Hospitals in America." A recent issue of U.S. News & World Report listed Shands as one of "America's Best Hospitals," specifically in the areas of neurology, gastroenterology, cancer and otolaryngology.


                        For Alan

                        I can understand your frustration and concern, because I lived with severe scoliosis for a long time (almost my entire life), and it was no fun at all. It's hard to sit for long periods because your back gets very sore, clothes don't fit right, you don't like right seated in your chair, and it's generally bad for your health. I am in a different situation, because my scoliosis was caused by a spinal cord tumor, but it was made worse when I became a paraplegic from the tumor (actually from one of the surgeries to remove the tumor).

                        I do hope that you can avoid surgery, because it is really hard on your body. Hopefully, your curve won't progress, and you'll be able to manage your pain with physical therapy or bracing. Hang in there, and let me know how you are doing.


                          I certainly don't want surgery, and am not currently contemplating it. I think I've tried all the possible bracing options over the years. Hard braces didn't work, because they caused sores, plus they were extremely difficult for my aides to put on me. Soft braces (like my corset) do nothing to reduce the curve - it just keeps me from falling forward. My Jay2 chair back and lateral supports also doesn't seem to help matters.

                          Scoliosis is just another of the joys of SCI we get to live with as members of the damaged cord club. :-( Between it and the back pain, I'm always fidgeting in my chair, trying to find a comfortable position in which I don't feel like I'm tipping sideways.

                          Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.