Scoliosis diagnosis techniques

It’s likely that you’ve received a scoliosis diagnosis if you developed an abnormal curvature of the spine as a child or teenager. However, if you are an adult who is now experiencing new scoliosis symptoms or an existing condition is worsening, you should see your doctor for an updated scoliosis diagnosis.

Adult-onset scoliosis is relatively rare, but it can develop from spinal degeneration or a neuromuscular condition like cerebral palsy. That is why it is crucial to consult a doctor who can evaluate the severity of your condition and determine your best course of treatment. Read on to learn about the points you may discuss during your consultation appointment and the treatments that may be recommended to you.

What to expect at your scoliosis consultation

Getting an updated or new scoliosis diagnosis can be a source of anxiety. However, finding a treatment that gives you the best chance of relieving symptoms and returning to a more active lifestyle depends on an accurate diagnosis.

At your consultation, your doctor will likely perform a physical examination to test your reflexes and range of motion. This can help pinpoint areas or motions that cause pain. You may also be asked to do a forward bend test as a more specific scoliosis diagnosis technique. These tests involve bending over and touching your toes to closely examine the shape and curvature of your spine.

Finally, you and your doctor will review your medical history, including topics such as:

  • When your scoliosis developed
  • If scoliosis runs in your family
  • What symptoms you have been experiencing
  • What other treatments you have already tried

An X-ray or MRI will likely be necessary for your doctor to confirm a scoliosis diagnosis. Diagnostic imagery like this will determine the severity of your spinal curvature. The development of other spinal conditions such as spinal stenosis or spinal nerve compression can potentially be detected as well.

Methods for treating scoliosis

Once a scoliosis diagnosis has been confirmed, you and your doctor can discuss your options for treatment. Many individuals will be able to manage their symptoms with a combination of conservative treatments. Effective methods include physical therapy, low-impact exercise, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and epidural steroid injections.

In some cases, surgery may be necessary, either to decompress spinal nerves being affected by scoliosis or to address the development of the spinal curvature itself. Laser Spine Institute offers safer and effective alternatives to traditional open spine surgery^ that treat the symptoms of scoliosis for adult patients who have exhausted conservative options.

As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, we have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain. Our procedures use a small muscle-sparing incision that leads to a shorter recovery time and a lower risk of complication^ compared to traditional open back surgery. Contact our dedicated team today so we can help you on your journey to wellness.

Through a free MRI review* we can determine if you are a potential candidate for our scoliosis procedures and get you started on your journey to wellness.