20% of Guam cases seen by Shriners are scoliosis - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

20% of Guam cases seen by Shriners are scoliosis

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 by Jolene Toves

Guam - Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine which affects an estimated 7 million people in the United States and here on Guam it makes up about 20% of the individuals seen by the Shriner's Hospital.

Chief of staff and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Craig Ono said, "There's scoliosis that is caused by never problems so children who have for example cerebral palsy may develop scoliosis. There is scoliosis that is caused by bone deformities so the bones are just not formed all the way so that's the congenital scoliosis. Then there is the scoliosis that we really don't know what causes it and that is called idiopathic scoliosis."

Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type of scoliosis impacting infants, adolescents and adults worldwide. The primary onset of scoliosis is 10-15 years old in both males and females but females are eight percent more likely to progress to a curve magnitude that requires treatment.

"What we do depends upon the size of the curve and the age of the patient if it is a small curve in an older patient we typically don't worry about those curves because those curves do not progress but large curves in young patients they do progress and we have a variety of treatment measures that we use initially," said Ono.

"If they have a large curve and for us a large curve is greater than 50 degrees and they are adults greater than 21 years of age if we feel that they need surgery and they are interested in surgery even though they are older than 21 we will still consider them for care but we try to get their treatment done before they reach that 21 years of age."

Ono says if the curve needs to be braced and have a smaller curver the risk of it progressing is low. While a vast majority of those with scoliosis may not require treatment scoliosis can impact the quality of life some individuals may have limited activity pain reduced respiratory function and diminished self-esteem. 
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