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June – Scoliosis Awareness Month

Did you know that June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month?

Approximately 6-9 million people in the United States are affected by Scoliosis.

What is Scoliosis?

  • Scoliosis is a disorder in which there is a sideways curvature of the spine greater than 10 degrees.
  • It is 7-times more likely to affect females than males.
  • Scoliosis is commonly noticed in the early stages of adolescence, and if left untreated may occasionally lead to major deformity.

How is it treated?

Bracing is recommended for patients with curves that measure between 20 degrees and 40 degrees during their growth phase. The goal is to prevent the curve from getting bigger. This is accomplished by correcting the curve while the patient is in the brace so that the curve does not progress with time. Growth plates on the vertebrae are more likely to grow symmetrically if they have equal pressure over their surface as the child grows.

The primary goal of orthotic treatment (back brace) for idiopathic scoliosis is to halt or significantly decrease rate of spinal curve progression.

As Scoliosis Progresses 

  • Deformity Worsens, Appearance Worsens, Pain Worsens
  • Rib Cage May Start Pressing Against the Lungs and Heart
  • This will Make it More Difficult to Breathe and Harder for the Heart to Pump; with Bad Consequences

scoliosis untreated

These are photos of x-rays that were taken of an untreated spine with Scoliosis.

Dr. Okafor is a board certified and fellowship trained Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon. He received specialized training on Pediatric Spine Surgery at the Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Delaware, where he received training on all aspects of complex pediatric deformity correction, and adolescent scoliosis corrections. Dr. Okafor performs scoliosis correction and fusion surgeries for patients of all ages. He employs very advanced and cutting edge minimally invasive surgery techniques for his scoliosis correction surgeries.

At Spine Institute of Central Florida. we treat scoliosis with state-of-the-art and advanced techniques. Because scoliosis surgery and therapy is so intensive and requires impeccable technique, it is important to select a scoliosis team with plenty of experience and expertise. Dr. Okafor specializes in the treatment of all spinal conditions including scoliosis and has successfully operated on many patients with severe scoliosis. If you are in need of treatment, you can depend on our specialists to treat your scoliosis spinal needs.

“Every year, scoliosis patients make more than 600,000 visits to private physician offices, an estimated 30,000 children are fitted with a brace, and 38,000 patients undergo spinal fusion surgery.”

scoliosis before and after

This picture shows before and after Corrective Surgery Performed by Dr. Okafor.

If you or a loved one is in need of an effective, comprehensive, and individualized scoliosis assessment, please turn to Spine Institute of Central Florida.

To initiate an evaluation on behalf of your child/patient please contact us at:

Phone: (863) 688-3030

Check out this video to hear a patient talk about their Scoliosis, before and after surgery results: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBM4-jALDcI

 

References: (2016) American Association of Neurological Surgeons  http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Scoliosis.aspx

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High-Tech Can Be A Pain In The Neck

kidsheadsdown

Today, parents tend to bring their children to see specialists more often for having headaches, back and/or neck pain. Many parents are even unsure as to why their children are getting this pain until they are asked what they do for fun and exercise.

Instead of playing outside for hours, kids are spending hours on their phones or tablets and are unaware of the effects that this can have on their body. Video games, social media, texting, YouTube or Netflix watching are all contributing to this so called “Tech-Neck”. Millennials and the younger population are beginning to steer away from hours of television and are gearing towards YouTube videos and hours of binging on Netflix series.

Constantly having ones neck dropped down for extended periods of time strains the neck muscles causing them to shorten and tighten. As this happens the shoulders begin to roll forward, leading to bad posture which further contributes to neck and back pain.

Tablet and cell phone use have drastically increased over recent year. Practicing good posture will significantly decrease additional strain on the body. While some may feel self-conscious holding their phones at eye level, keeping the body properly aligned during tech-use will help eliminate tilting the head downward and putting added strain on the neck muscles as the lower you tilt your head the more weight is placed on the neck.

For many, being led in the right direction through physical therapy and instruction on proper body mechanics can help get you or your child back to pain-free living. Call to schedule an appointment with one of our board certified doctors at 863-688-3030 or schedule your appointment online at: http://spineinstitutefl.com/

Specialists’ recommendations and individually structured exercise programs can help foster good spinal health for your family and will help avoid neck pain, back pain and shoulder pain. Don’t wait for your children to complain of back or neck pain prior to taking action. Injury prevention is the key! Improper attention to body mechanics today will predispose your kids to increased risk of future back injuries.

The stats: Young people online

  • 3 hours is amount of time 7-16-year-olds spend online each day
  • 8 hours is the amount of time 15-16-year-olds spend online
  • 60% watch TV via a phone, tablet or laptop
  • 1 hours spent watching through a television each day, which is down from 3 hours in 2000
  • 38% do most of their TV viewing on demand

 Source: Childwise Monitor report 2016

 

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