A spinal deformity refers to a structural abnormality in the spine which is either due to wrong alignment or an abnormal curve. Such problems can be congenital or developed due to age-related wear and tear. The prevalence of the latter is most commonly seen in people in the age group of 30 to 68 years. Spinal deformities could also be a result of some underlying degenerative disease or a traumatic injury.
Several different types of spinal deformities can affect a person. We have discussed 3 of the most common of these with the help of experts specialising in spinal fusion surgery in Gurugram.
Scoliosis is a common spinal deformity marked by an abnormal curvature in the backbone. The backbone or spine of a person suffering from scoliosis is curved laterally, i.e. from side to side, in an S or C shape. The condition is most commonly seen in small children and adolescents. If we speak of India alone, about 5 million adults and more than 39 million children are living with the condition.
Scoliosis is broadly classified into 3 types - idiopathic scoliosis, congenital scoliosis and neuromuscular scoliosis.
● Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type, accounting for about 80 per cent of all cases. It has no known cause and usually develops in small children, below 10 years of age. Idiopathic scoliosis, which is diagnosed in infants below 2 years of age, is commonly referred to as infantile idiopathic scoliosis. As per the experts from the best spine surgery hospital in Gurugram, idiopathic scoliosis tends to worsen with growth, which means that earlier a child is diagnosed, the greater the risks of complications.
● Congenital scoliosis is present since birth. The condition is usually diagnosed before they cross 7 years of age and is primarily a result of birth defects, neurological abnormalities and genetic defects. The condition may also be diagnosed during infancy and tends to worsen as the child grows, leading to more noticeable abnormalities and asymmetries.
● Neuromuscular scoliosis, as the name suggests, is a result of underlying neuromuscular conditions such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy. Children suffering from the condition are usually required to wear a brace to prevent further complications as the condition is progressive.
Scoliosis is generally characterised by symptoms like the unevenness of the shoulder blades and hips, persistent back pain, breathing difficulties and a rotating spine.
The condition is marked by an abnormal curve, commonly in the lumbar area of the spine, or the lower back. The condition is also referred to as swayback. In the majority of cases, the condition is mild and does not give rise to any serious complications or symptoms. Lordosis can drastically affect a person's posture, causing the abdominal area to stick out. Although the condition can affect anyone, it is most commonly seen in adults above 50 years of age, pregnant women and children during growth spurts.
Lordosis is broadly classified into two types - Cervical lordosis and lumbar lordosis.
● Cervical lordosis is marked by a curve in the neck, that pushes it in the forward direction, making it appear like a wide C. In extreme cases, the condition can interfere with the person's ability to talk or swallow food.
● Lumbar lordosis is the most common type of lordosis and is marked by a C-like inward arch in the lower back, that pushes the pelvic and abdominal area forward. In extreme cases, it can disrupt normal bladder and bowel control
Lordosis is generally characterised by symptoms like forward leaning of the head, extra space between the lower back and the floor when you are lying down and a prominent butt that seems as if it is sticking out.
Commonly referred to as hunchback or round back, it is marked by an abnormal forward curvature in the upper back. Normally the upper spine can bend to a curvature of 20 to 45 degrees, however, in the case of kyphosis, the person's spine has a curvature of 50 degrees.
Kyphosis can be broadly classified into the following types:
● Postural kyphosis - In this case, the abnormal curvature is greater than 50 degrees. The condition, however, can be reversed with simple exercises and therapy
● Scheuermann's kyphosis - Also known as juvenile kyphosis, the condition is marked by the anterior wedging of the vertebrae. It is not very common and affects just 0.4 per cent of the population.
● Congenital kyphosis - The condition is marked by an abnormality in the shape of either one or more vertebrae. It tends to worsen with age.
Kyphosis is generally characterized by symptoms like the forward uneven height of the shoulder, forward alignment of the head, the difference in the position of shoulder blades and tight hamstrings.
To know more about spinal deformities, or to explore various treatment options available for the same, consult the experts from the best hospital in Gurugram.
Dr. Harnarayan Singh,
Director and HOD, Neurosurgery and Spine Surgery