Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. The majority of cases, particularly those occurring in adolescents, tend to have a genetic basis. However, certain neuromuscular disorders, such as muscular dystrophy, can cause scoliosis. Additionally, asymmetric spinal disc degeneration can cause the spine to curve, resulting in a form or scoliosis that primarily affects adults.
Correcting scoliosis usually involves placing multiple screws or hooks along the length of the curve and using instrumentation to decrease the curvature. Screws are placed in the drilled holes and metal rods are positioned between the screws and fastened in place. The rods are then rotated in a fashion that straightens the spine. The rod and screw instrumentation prevents the vertebrae from moving while the bone graft fusion takes place. Bone grafts or bone graft substitutes may be added to fuse the vertebrae in the straighter, less curved spine configuration.