3 percent of individuals with progressive curvature may eventually experience severe problems that can include scoliosis and back pain, spinal problems, and nerve compression causing numbness, weakness, and leg pain.
What is Dextroscoliosis?
Dextroscoliosis is a type of scoliosis whereby there is an abnormal curvature of the spine. Although doctors can find abnormal curvatures anywhere in the spinal column, dextroscoliosis usually occurs in the middle and upper parts of the thoracic spine. Scoliosis refers to an abnormal rotated sideways curvature in the spine. Within this rotation, we have different types of scoliosis that can develop. These vary in cause, location, and direction in which the curve bends. Dextroscoliosis is the abnormal curvature that bends to the right. This is a form of scoliosis in which the curve bends away from the heart.
The spine specialists at Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute are focused on treating dextroscoliosis (and many other forms of scoliosis) in the most conservative, effective, and patient-centered manner possible.
If the patient has ‘lumbar dextroscoliosis, it means the curvature developed in the lumbar part of the spine and curves in the right direction. If the patient has ‘thoracic dextroscoliosis, then the curve developed in the patient’s thoracic spine curves in the right direction.
Symptoms of Dextroscoliosis
People living with dextroscoliosis may show the following:
- Uneven shoulders in the height
- One of the shoulder blades will protrude out further than the other
- The ribs on one side of the body will protrude out more than those on the other side
- Uneven waistline and hips
- Curve to the spine
- Body tilt (the upper body will lean to one side)
- Head tilt (the head will lean more to one side)
People with scoliosis that have severe degree curves can sometimes have their curved spine pressing on other organs and body areas. This can lead to serious symptoms like:
- Difficulty and breathing and shortness of the breath
- Back pain
- Chest pain
- Leg pain
- Difficulties with going to the bathroom
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Causes of Dextroscoliosis
Research has shown that there are various causes of Dextroscoliosis. Most are idiopathic, i.e. there is no known cause. This form is found in 80 percent of the patients. Medical researchers also suspect that some patients may have a genetic connection to idiopathic scoliosis. Thirty percent of patients with idiopathic scoliosis also have family members with scoliosis. Apart from idiopathic scoliosis, the following provides some of the causes of dextroscoliosis:
This is caused while the fetus is developing and affects one in 10,000 births. Patients with this also have issues with kidney and heart functions.
This results from conditions like cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury.
This develops in older adults. It is caused by arthritis, ankylosing spondylosis, osteoporosis disc degeneration, and vertebral compression fractures.
Diagnosis of Dextroscoliosis
Just as it is with all forms of scoliosis, dextroscoliosis is diagnosed by a doctor while conducting a physical examination. This examination usually includes:
- Checking to see if both sides of your shoulder, waist, and hip are even or uneven.
- Checking both sides of your rib cage to detect if one side protrudes out more than the other side.
- Inspecting your spine from the back.
- Checking your spine while bending forward with your feet together, knees straight, and arms hanging down.
- Taking the X-rays of your spine to see where the curve is, and to know the extent of the curve or curves.
Depending on the outcome of the examinations above, your doctor may also ask you to have a CT scan or an MRI scan to further evaluate the spine.
Dextroscoliosis Treatment Options
When it comes to treating dextroscoliosis, the first treatment step is to tackle the presence of another condition that may be causing the problem and provide corrective treatment. This may sometimes involve referring the patient to a specialist that treats such medical issues. Once the underlying issue has been accessed, diagnosed, and corrected, we can then focus on treating the curvature of the spine.
Here at Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute, our experts have been treating scoliosis-related issues for many years and they are adept at suggesting the appropriate course of treatment depending on the patient’s symptoms and the condition of their spine.
We consider the following factors before choosing a specific treatment:
- Sex: Girls have a higher chance of having spinal progression than boys.
- The severity of the curve: Before recommending treatment, our scoliosis experts will carry out a detailed exam of the patient’s condition to determine the stage and size of the curve.
- The pattern of the curve: Increasing spinal complexities can make the treatment procedure multistep.
- Location of the curve: We will analyze the actual location of the curve and then begin treatment. Curves that are found in the center of the spine are often more complex than those found in the upper or lower portions of the spine.
- Maturity: We also consider the type of curve and its potential progression for proper treatment.
The dextroscoliosis treatment options include:
If the curve in the spine is less than 25 degrees and it is not growing at a rapid rate, the doctor will take X-rays and other imaging tests every 6 to 12 months to monitor the condition of the spine.
If the spinal curves are between 25 and 45 degrees, the doctor may ask you to support your spine with bracing. Although this will not correct your spine, it will help to prevent the curves from getting worse.
Another form of non-invasive dextroscoliosis treatment is physical therapy treatment. Our doctors often recommend physical therapy where the therapist is trained in treating people with scoliosis. Physical therapy will not cure scoliosis but can build muscles to help support a curved spine.
After dealing with lots of scoliosis-related issues, we know that most of those with back pain do not need surgeries. We believe in using non-surgical scoliosis treatment whenever possible — especially if the patient is an adolescent and still growing. We advise patients with back pain to get evaluated early for scoliosis detection and treatment to increase the chance of getting the right outcomes and correction — early on.
Our doctors may suggest surgery for dextroscoliosis if your spinal curves are:
- Growing and getting larger with time
- Leading to other problems, like breathing or other problems
- Causing severe deformities
In this surgical procedure, your spine surgeon will strengthen the spinal bones that form the curve. The surgeon will then fuse them into the correct position with the help of a bone graft and sometimes screws and rods to support them.
Your surgeon can anchor one or two metal rods to the spine above and below the spine area with the curvature. The metal rod(s) stay in place with wires, screws, or hooks. If a growing rod gets used, the spine surgeon can extend the rod by using minor surgery.
This involves the removal of one portion of one vertebra to reduce the curve’s severity. The surgeon can then add a metal implant.
Customized Dextroscoliosis Treatment
We design your dextroscoliosis treatment based on the specific needs of our patients. This is why our treatment success rates are so high; because our patients have access to a fully customized treatment that tackles their specific symptoms and unique condition.
Our cutting-edge treatment plans and facility, including a scoliosis-specific x-ray system (EOS), coupled with our scoliosis experts’ experience and knowledge in treating scoliosis help us get the desired outcomes and our patients back to living the life they want to live.
Complications of Untreated Dextroscoliosis
There are no complications for mild conditions. However, the following can occur for severe curves:
- Breathing problems if the curve changes the shape of the chest and exerts pressure on the lungs or reduces the expansion of the lung for breathing
- Chest pain caused by the deformity of the trunk
- Problems with bowel or bladder control if the curve compresses the spinal nerves that lead to the organs
- Back or leg pain if the spinal curve compresses the spinal nerves
- Trouble walking
Schedule Your Dextroscoliosis Consultation Today
Finally, the board-certified experts at Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute will provide the right spinal care and treatment for your dextroscoliosis to improve your quality of life. Schedule your dextroscoliosis consultation today by calling 214-556-0555.
If you are an adult living with scoliosis or have a child with this condition and need a doctor who specializes in orthopedic surgery,
call the Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute at 214-556-0555 to make an appointment today.