The spinal cord includes three sections that consist of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar areas. Cervical sections mean the neck and upper back area. Thoracic is the middle back, and the lumbar section is the lower part of the back. With a thoracic scoliosis diagnosis, the scoliosis, or a sideways curvature of the spine, is in the middle back. So, what are the treatment options with such a condition?
Treatment options with Thoracic Scoliosis
There are two different approaches with Thoracic Scoliosis. One is more conservative, while the other is more traditional. With a traditional approach, a patient will see their health care provider for a diagnosis. The health care provider often recommends observation of more mild or moderate cases in order to determine if those cases will worsen. When improvement is minimal or they see none, the health care provider will probably call or consult with a spinal surgeon to oversee treatment through spinal fusion surgery.
When the condition warrants, or is severe, spinal fusion surgery is the next step in the traditional sense. The procedure involves the placement of rods, screws, hooks, and wires along the spine integrated with bone grafts. It allows for fusion of the bone grafts and a straight alignment to the thoracic area. Surgery is both invasive and expensive, and the effects are not conclusive. The patient looses spinal flexibility along with the possible failure of the different hardware put in place, and the chances for future follow up surgeries.
The conservative or alternative approach to Thoracic Scoliosis involves working with a health care provider skilled in the treatment of Scoliosis through more natural and corrective approaches. An initial diagnosis is made through a scoliosis X-ray that helps to determine a detailed plan for treatment. Treatment options follow and usually include:
• Corrective bracing
Differences Between Thoracic Scoliosis Treatments
The difference between the traditional and the conservative approach is that the traditional approach depends on a spinal surgeon to determine treatment before and after surgery, while the conservative or alternative approach incorporates treatment through a specialized health care provider. He or she is familiar with all the aspects of Thoracic Scoliosis and the different treatment options available. This multi-faceted approach works to reduce scoliosis or spinal curvature on a different level. They customize a treatment plan to address the issues of the patient’s condition. The combination of treatments addresses the specifics associated with a Thoracic Scoliosis diagnosis.
Treatment Options for Other Forms of Scoliosis
Other treatment options will depend on the measure of the spinal curve as well as the location of the curve in relation to the spine. With young children, treatment will be based on their stage of development and how the curve is progressing. Nonsurgical treatments for other forms of Scoliosis include:
• Physical therapy
• Bracing and casting
• Customized exercises (specific exercises designed to bring the spine in proper alignment)
The procedure, as previously explained, corrects the curvature of the spine through spinal fusion. In severe cases, where the curvature goes beyond 40 or more degrees or where the curve’s development appears to advance rapidly, surgery is initiated. A Scoliosis or spinal surgeon will use bone (bone grafts) along with screws, rods and wires to straighten the curvature by fusing or merging the vertebrae to close the gap and hold the spine in alignment which will allow the bone material to fuse.
More Thoracic Scoliosis Treatment Options
There are more forms of Thoracic Scoliosis treatment options than other forms of Scoliosis that happen through conservative or alternative treatments. With the advances made in conservative regimens, there is hope for the patient through one-on-one treatments specially tailored to that patient’s Thoracic Scoliosis diagnosis. That involves looking at each person’s situation and how they can remedy their diagnosis. Maybe the treatment will involve looking at how the curvature can be adjusted, relieved, or helped through different therapies, rehabilitation or special bracing. Whatever the case may be, there is hope in looking at diversified treatments for Thoracic Scoliosis.
Should you need further information concerning Thoracic Scoliosis treatment options, or want to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 205-637-1363 and we’ll answer any of your questions or schedule an appointment.