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Scoliosis Curves

Scoliosis curves are measured and expressed by degree. The higher the degree the more the scoliosis is said to be “severe”. The normal thoracolumbar spine is relatively straight in the sagittal plane and has a double curve in the coronal plane. As shown below, the thoracic spine in convex posteriorly (kyphosis) and the lumbar spine is convex anteriorly (lordosis). Normally there should be no lateral curvature of the spine.

  • Triple Major Curve
  • Double Major Curve: is difficult to identify as it causes only minor visual distortion. A double major curve is made up of two curves with nearly equal angles.
  • Double Thoracic Curve: For type 2 DT curves, the general rule is to fuse both the PT and MT regions posteriorly. The upper end vertebra of fusion is usually either T2 (left shoulder high before surgery) or T3 (shoulders level, or, rarely, right shoulder high before surgery).
  • Lumbar Major Curve: effects the lower part of the spine and often curves to the left.
  • Main Thoracic Curve: or type 1 MT curves, the general rule is to fuse only the MT region, posteriorly, anteriorly, or, if occasionally required, circumferentially.
  • Thoracolumbar Curve: is longer than most and extends from the upper to the lower spine. It may curve either to the right or the left.
  • Triple Major Curve: For type 4 TM curves, the general rule is to fuse all three regions. Either the MT or TL/L region can be the major curve, but all three regions are structural.
The Spine has 4 natural curves
The Spine has 4 natural curves