A healthy spine has gentle curves that help it absorb impact from normal activity. If those curves are too pronounced, however, it is considered a spine curvature disorder.
Three Common Types of Spine Curvature Disorders
- Scoliosis: a lateral deviation of the spinal column.
- Kyphosis: a forward deviation of the spinal column in the upper back.
- Lordosis: an inward deviation of the spinal column in the lower back.
Usually these disorders can be managed nonoperatively but if the magnitude of the curve exceeds a certain threshold, surgery is often recommended. Surgery is recommended for larger curves due to the high risk of continued curve progression which could lead to further deformity and collapse of the spine.
Over time, the internal organs can be compressed which could lead to cardiac or respiratory issues, loss of appetite, spinal cord compression, as well as, cosmetic concerns. Some of these surgeries in older, more osteoporotic, patients are fraught with complications and often not recommended.
If you suffer from scoliosis or kyphosis and have been offered surgery, a second opinion may be the smartest decision you can make.