The normal spine has a straight profile when seen from behind. Scoliosis occurs when this profile is deformed by a curvature, which may appear in one or more segments. This curvature is associated with rotation and wedging of the vertebrae. In addition to the spinal curvature, there may be the prominence of the thorax or asymmetry of the shoulders and pelvis. [Rolton, 2014]
The formation of the spine changes from the time we are born till we are finished growing. Following that the spine might then start to become deformed, changing shape again as we get much older as the spine degrades. The rate of this degradation depends on how poor our posture is.
Skeletal abnormalities for NF1 are different than they are for NF2 and Schwannomatosis. NF1 Skeletal Abnormalities are complex and extensive issues that start at young ages, but for NF2 and Schwannomatosis Scoliosis is the result of tumor growth along the spinal cord that damage Vertebrae.[Widemann, 2014]
Poor posture develops is a common issue as a result of the slow decline of the health of the vestibular nerve (balance nerve), but is often worse after, as a person relearns to walk. It is difficult to start complete recovery of balance while the nerve remains partially intact.
Over time this can result in Scoliosis, Kyphosis, and Kyphoscoliosis.
Efforts need to be taken to correct or stop this from happening as soon as possible.
Each spinal cord deformity is a possible spine occurrence due to the tumors that grow along the spinal cord. If there is tumor pressure on an individual vertebra or if spine surgery is done to remove a tumor and vertebrae are then damaged, the Vertebrae higher up in the spinal column can easily compress and cause damage resulting in a poor spine curvature.
The most common spine deformation types include Scoliosis, Kyphosis, and Kyphoscoliosis. With Scoliosis is when compression results in a person back shift left or right. Kyphosis the spinal cord compression results in a person hunched forward. Kyphoscoliosis is when both Scoliosis and Kyphosis curvatures apply to the same individual.
The spinal cord might change if tumors grow along the spinal cord and cause pressure on the individual vertebrae, or if spine surgery is done to remove a tumor and vertebrae are then damaged. This could mean a slow dangerous alteration in the proper spine formation that could result in:
The sooner either a back brace is used and physical therapy starts, the better the chance of prevention of surgical methods. Surgical correction methods to fix this are themselves complex and might relieve some of the pain, but not all. Individual consultations with surgeons and physical therapists are the best course of action if this starts to develop and then progresses:
Each incorrect curvature of the spine has a different brace that can be worn to help correct the deformation.
There are a variety of exercises that can be done to help manage different spine curvatures. Some can be done sitting, standing or lying flat.
If spinal cord issue is from Vestibular Nerve damage, immediate action to start physical therapy of Vestibular Balance Recovery (VRT) should be considered.
When spinal cord abnormalities start to develop, it is ideal to do everything possible to prevent the need for surgical options.
Spinal fusion also known as Spondylodesis or Spondylosyndesis is a method to connect two or more vertebrae. This method requires a bone graft to connect the vertebrae. A bone graft might be from other bone in the individual like the hip, donor bone, or a synthetic ceramic material.
Since these implanted pieces would not be the exact shape needed, to help create the right shape and bind the new bone to the existing spine completely, a calcium porous putty substance is used in the process, which adapts over time to become bone matter.
These can be used to help limit excessive movement and fix spine deformation and might be placed in or between several vertebrae as needed.
As of today, May 2017, 3d printed casts may not have been used for more than two (2) people.
Prevention is important even if there are options to manage the damage if necessary as the surgical options have considerable risks.
Some prevention methods include: