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Shawn  Hermenau, MD -  - Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon

Desert Spine Institute

Shawn Hermenau, MD

Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon & Aesthetic Clinic located in Yuma, AZ

Scoliosis can be concerning for adults and children alike – especially if it causes discomfort or self-consciousness. Get a thorough scoliosis evaluation and learn about treatment options from orthopedic spine surgeon, Shawn Hermenau, MD in Yuma, Arizona. At Desert Spine Institute, Dr. Hermenau offers conservative management and surgical treatment of all types of scoliosis. Set up a consultation today by calling or using the online booking tool.

Scoliosis Q & A

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. It can resemble either an S or C shape, depending on the extent of the curvature. It’s most often noticed in children between the ages of two and ten, though it may be present from birth in some cases.

For most people, scoliosis is mild and doesn’t cause any problems. Common signs of scoliosis include:

  • Uneven shoulders
  • One shoulder blade more prominent than the other
  • Uneven waist
  • One hip higher than the other

In more severe or progressive cases, the spine can also become rotated, causing the body to twist in response. Severe cases also present problems for the heart and lungs, especially if the abnormal curvature causes compression of the organs inside the rib cage. If you have scoliosis or think your child might have it, visit Dr. Hermenau for a consultation.

What causes scoliosis?

There are a number of causes of scoliosis. Most cases are considered idiopathic, meaning they have no known cause. In some cases, scoliosis can run in families. Other causes of scoliosis include:

  • Neuromuscular conditions, including muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy
  • Birth defects that prevent the bones of the spine from forming normally
  • Injuries to or infections in the spine

In all cases of scoliosis, Dr. Hermenau completes a thorough evaluation, including a physical exam and X-rays on site, to determine the extent of the curvature. Most cases of scoliosis are mild and cause no symptoms, so treatment may not be necessary. In moderate to severe cases, Dr. Hermenau recommends a treatment plan to stabilize the spine and protect organs inside the rib cage.

How is scoliosis treated?

Scoliosis treatment varies depending on the cause and severity of the curvature. Dr. Hermenau begins most treatment plans with observation and conservative care aimed at stabilizing the spine and preventing the curvature from increasing. Treatment may involve rehabilitative stretches and exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine, if needed.

For more complex cases, Dr. Hermenau may recommend a back brace or surgical intervention. There are different types of braces available that can be customized based on the degree of curvature in the spine and the age of the patient. These braces can be modified over time as needed, especially for growing children.

In severe or progressive cases that threaten internal organs or a patient’s well-being, Dr. Hermenau may recommend surgery to stabilize the spine.

Get evaluated for scoliosis and learn about treatment options at Desert Spine Institute. Call or click now to book your visit.