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What is Dextroscoliosis?

By Carol Kindle
Updated Jan 26, 2024
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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.

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Discussion Comments
By anon997923 — On Mar 18, 2017

Can my daughter have the bone repaired by a brace? She will have a brace by the end of this month. She's only 13 years old, but willing to wear a brace and take swimming lessons. She's also getting therapy now.

By anon321834 — On Feb 24, 2013

There are ways to treat this. I am a clinical bodyworker who treats this all the time with great results. You need to find a bodyworker who understands scoliosis and can treat the short muscles that are pulling your spine out of alignment.

This is slow focused work usually in the abs/psoas, Errector spinae on the concave side of the the spine, glute medius and minimus and sometimes serratus anterior. Depending on how long you've had it most people can regain a straight spine, but even those that are more severe can gain significant change. It is also important not to increase the compression of the muscle through inappropriate exercise. First, lengthen the short muscles straightening the curved side. Do not touch the muscles on the convex side they are long and tight and often the more painful area. Decrease nerve tension then begin stretching and strength building. I hope this helps. Check out Kyle C. Wright. He is a bodyworker out of Asheville, NC. He has a wealth of knowledge on this subject.

By anon251600 — On Mar 01, 2012

I am 50 and have dextroscoliosis, neural foraminal narrowing at L4/L5/SI, an annular tear at L3/L4 and broad based central disc bulges at T12/L1 and L1/L2,L3/L4, L4/L5 and SI. My pain clinic doctors and my pain med prescriber say this is "no big deal."

I can hardly walk unless I lean on a shopping cart. If all of this is no big deal, why is the report two pages long, and why bother mentioning any of this? They should have just written: MRI results = no big deal.

I am prescribed avinza (morphine) oxycodone, neurontin, lyrica and Klonopin (so I can sleep). Pretty heavy medications, for "no big deal," don't you think? I am ready to just give up. I cannot live like this anymore.

By anon249064 — On Feb 19, 2012

I only found out that I had dextroscoliosis when I was in my mid 20's. I had a very painful backache when I started at a company where the air-conditioning was very near my desk.

Because of this, I went to the doctor and found out through the xray that I indeed have it. I am now in my early 40's and it has worsened. Every bedtime is difficult because the pain never goes away. There is no cure that I have found except when I finally fall asleep.

By anon245257 — On Feb 04, 2012

@anon168576: I've been serving in the military, mainly with Special Forces for ten years. I was recently diagnosed with having dextroscoliosis (~20 degree arc). I can understand your fears associated with this issue.

The biggest thing I can tell you is to not let it get you down! I've thrown 130 pounds of gear on my back and didn't have a major problem. Sometimes I'll have some minor pain/pressure, but if you don't let it hold you back, there's nothing you can't achieve.

By anon191601 — On Jun 29, 2011

I've had an Xray recently and was found to have dextroscoliosis. The curve of my spine is to the right. I doubt that I got it from a wrong posture since I stand straight most of the time, and even people close to me were surprised I have one. Please enlighten me and the rest how I got one.

Is there a medication to take to treat this? Or some kind of exercise? Please, please, help.

Thanks so much!

By anon168576 — On Apr 18, 2011

I'm a 20 year old girl who is suffering this kind of abnormality. I was diagnosed with dextroscoliosis when i was 14 and it really depresses me. i had tried wearing this Milwaukee brace but it irritated me in many ways. it really affects my self-esteem and my studies. is there any exercise that could help avoid the pain?. I'm afraid of surgery.

By anon136920 — On Dec 24, 2010

can scoliosis come from an injury if there was osteoporosis present?

By pharmchick78 — On Aug 12, 2010

@rallenwriter -- Scoliosis in the lumbar spine region is scoliosis that happens in the lower back.

Lumbar scoliosis can be either right-curving or left-curving, like all other kinds of scoliosis.

Therefore, it is possible to have dextroscoliosis of the lumbar spine, but the two do not necessarily happen together, and dextroscoliosis can happen in any area of the spine.

That is to say, it does not have to happen in the lumbar area of the spine to be dextroscoliosis.

Hope that helps!

By rallenwriter — On Aug 12, 2010

What is lumbar scoliosis? Is dextroscoliosis a type of lumbar scoliosis, or is it something else altogether?

I'm doing a paper on scoliosis of the spine, so detailed answers would be appreciated!

By closerfan12 — On Aug 12, 2010

Thank you for this article -- my son was diagnosed with dextroscoliosis of the spine when he was 10, and the condition can be scary for a parent, especially when you don't have a lot of information available.

This article has all the information that I looked for back then -- I know that this will really help out parents going through the same thing I did.

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