Dextroscoliosis is one form of scoliosis, a medical condition in which the patient suffers from curvature of the spine. If the spine curves to the right, this is known as dextroscoliosis, as opposed to levoscoliosis, which is a left curvature. These curvatures are s-shaped or c-shaped and are viewed from the front or back. They differ from the normal curving of the vertebrae seen from the side view of the patient.
Children undergoing bone growth are most affected by scoliosis. The symptoms can be subtle since the vertebrae are internal and the patient may not be experiencing any pain. Patients may notice that one shoulder is lower than the other or that their clothing doesn’t fit correctly. The curvature may be noticed by a family member familiar with the symptoms. Scoliosis does run in families so parents with this condition should monitor children frequently.
There are different types of scoliosis, varying based on the cause. Functional scoliosis is caused when the patient suffers from another skeletal problem, such as when one leg shorter than the other leads to curvature of the spine. The scoliosis is treated by correcting the first problem. Neuromuscular scoliosis occurs when the patient has an underlying medical condition, such as muscular dystrophy. Most cases of scoliosis are of unknown origin and are thus referred to as idiopathic.
Scoliosis can develop in different age groups. Infantile scoliosis develops in children younger than three years old. Juvenile scoliosis occurs in patients who range in age from three to ten years old and adolescent scoliosis occurs in patients ten years and older.
To diagnose scoliosis, the physician will perform an exam of the spine. The patient will probably be asked to bend forward at the waist to allow the physician to look for anything abnormal in the curvature of the spine. Dextroscoliosis and levoscoliosis can be present in the same patient and the physician will need x-rays to confirm the diagnosis. From the x-rays, the physician can measure the angles of curvature in the spine. These angles help the physician develop a treatment plan.
There is no difference in the treatment of patients with dextroscoliosis versus those with levoscoliosis. Infantile scoliosis is monitored over time but not usually treated. Patients with juvenile or adolescent scoliosis are treated based on the angle of the curvature. If the curvature is less than 25 degrees, the patient is monitored only. Patients with curvatures between 25 to 40 degrees are usually treated with a back brace to prevent the condition from getting worse.
The back brace would usually extend from the patient’s underarms to the lower back. It may be uncomfortable or cumbersome but it can be effective in maintaining the angle of the curved spine. The brace will not cure scoliosis, but may prevent it from getting worse. Curvatures above 40 degrees are severe enough that the patient may need surgery. Surgery would involve implantation of rods and screws to strengthen the vertebrae.