Q:

What is dextroscoliosis of the spine?

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Quick Answer

According to chiropractor Dr. Julian Mendes, dextroscoliosis is a curvature of the spine to the right of the body. An individual may be born with this condition, or develop it over time due to neuromuscular diseases, degenerative spinal diseases or trauma to the spinal column.

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The opposite of dextroscoliosis is levoscoliosis, which is a curvature of an individual's spine to the left. Levoscoliosis may negatively affect the heart and must be monitored by physicians more closely than dextroscoliosis. However, dextroscoliosis may affect a person's kidney, lung and liver functioning due to the curved spine's eventual deformation of the patient's ribcage, according to Dr. Mendes.

Dr. Mendes also states that different forms of dextroscoliosis exist. When it affects the lower back area of a patient, the proper name for the condition is lumbar dextroscoliosis, dextroconvex scoliosis or dextroscoliosis of the lumbar spine. When a patient experiences the curvature in his upper or middle back, the proper term for the condition is thoracic dextroscoliosis.

According to the Mayo Clinic, treatments for this and all other types of scoliosis include wearing a back brace or undergoing spinal fusion surgeries to prevent further curvature of the spine. Surgery is viewed as a final resort as complications may include bleeding, infection, pain or nerve damage.

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