Scoliosis Treatment in Bangkok
Somewhere between 3 and 6 million years ago is thought to be the period when the first hominins evolved with legs longer than their arms and walked upright. We refer to them today as homo erectus. Homo erectus continued to evolve, through the Neanderthals, the Denisovans and then, to where we are today, us, the Homo Sapiens.
Although we appear very different from our ancient ancestors, there is one part of our anatomy which remains very much the same, the backbone, or spine. Excavated remains indicate that homo erectus not only had the same 33 vertebrae as we do today, but also shared similar spinal problems as we do today.
Your spine is made up of bones, disc, muscles, tendons and other related tissues. It runs from the base of the skull down to the tip of the coccyx. The bones act to give the spinal column rigidity and enable you to remain perpendicular, whilst also acting as the outer armor protecting the spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds it.
The spine not only keeps you upright, but also allows you to bend, sit, twist and walk. Although very strong, the spine is one of the most vulnerable parts of the body. Not only are spinal injuries common, but this crucial part of the body can be affected by a multitude of other medical issues, including disease and deformity.
Some conditions can be congenital, whilst others are idiopathic and develop as age. Spinal deformity is widespread, with the most common manifestation being scoliosis. Globally, it is thought that up to 5% of the world’s population are suffering with this deformity to some degree or another.
What is Scoliosis?
Although a person will have a greater propensity towards having scoliosis if there is a family history of the condition, there is no single gene responsible for the development of deformity. Thus, it is not medically seen as being an inherent condition.
Scoliosis can be classified in any one of four ways, neuromuscular, degenerative, congenital, or idiopathic. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is the most common form of the condition with diagnosis coming during the period of puberty. Congenital scoliosis can affect any part of the spine and is a manifestation of an embryological malformation.
Neuromuscular scoliosis is a result of a muscular or neurological disease or trauma. muscular dystrophy, spina bifida and cerebral palsy are conditions which can bring about deformity. Degenerative scoliosis comes about through wear and tear on the joints and discs which make up the spine, most commonly in the lumbar region and is the most common form of scoliosis in adults.
Quite simply, scoliosis, taken from the Greek “Skolios”, meaning “Bent” is a curvature of the spine which may be coronal, sagittal or axial and can vary greatly in the level of severity. Some sufferers exhibit little or no negative effects of the condition on their quality of life. Others, in more sever cases, will suffer moderate to extreme levels of debilitation.
Fortunately for sufferers of any form of scoliosis, and to whatever degree of severity, there is a specialized clinic dedicated to the relief and corrective treatment of the condition. Samitivej Hospital’s Scoliosis Clinic in Bangkok is a world leader in treating scoliosis in all its forms.
Samitivej hospital’s Scoliosis Center
The Scoliosis Center in Bangkok is a modern, technologically advanced medical facility, unequalled in Asia, and on a par with the very best medical facilities across the world. The clinic and its team are headed up by renown spinal specialist surgeon Prof. Emer. Charoen Chotigavanich, M.D.
The Scoliosis Center not only delivers the very best in assessment, diagnosis and treatment, but also in follow up after care and continuous conditional analysis. It is the successful treatment and the determined goals of delivering the ultimate in care that has made the center a world renown facility.
Scoliosis Center Treatment
As a general rule, where a scoliosis sufferer has a curvature of less than 20 to 30 degrees will not immediately advise direct treatment. Most patients with this degree of curve won’t be experiencing any great loss in the quality of life. However, it will be advised that follow-up assessments are carried out every four to six months.
A curvature of the spine that exceeds 30 degrees will require treatment. This is likely to be a method of re-training the spine to correct the curve and to prevent any worsening of the condition. The re-training is done via the use of a brace or cast that the patient continually wears, removing it only to shower.
In young people the brace or cast would be worn until the youth has stopped growing. The length of time that it is worn may be reduced over time depending on the rate of correction and that it is no longer worsening.
In a patient that is still growing, and has a curvature exceeding 45 degrees, surgical correction will be advised. In adult sufferers’ surgical correction would be undertaken when the curvature reaches between 50 and 55 degrees. The procedure involves inserting metal rods to straighten and realign the spine.
Following surgery, the patient will have to refrain from physical activity for the first six months. Physical activity can then be gradually brought into the patient’s rehabilitation program, walking and swimming is then encouraged to rebuild the strength in the muscles that support the spine.
As with any form of surgery, there are risks and scoliosis correction surgery is no different in that aspect. With this form of surgery there is always a risk of damage to the nerves and spinal cord through stretching or compression, leading to nerve damage. For these reasons only a team of the caliber found at the Samitivej Hospital Scoliosis Center are capable of successfully conducting this form of corrective surgery.
Physical therapy plays a major role in the corrective treatment of scoliosis, and should only be conducted by highly trained, skilled therapists. This for of therapy is tailored to suit each individual patient, dependent on the type and degree of spinal curvature, and is aimed at educating the patient on how to self-administer corrective therapy which will aid in bringing the spine back into alignment.
With scoliosis, there can be no guarantees given that the spine can be corrected to perfect alignment. But, at the Scoliosis Center patients can be assured that the world class team of specialists will maximize the best possible outcomes for their given conditions.