Scoliosis (derieved from the Greek work scolios – meaning crooked) is a condition wherein there is an abnormal sideward curvature of the spine. An abnormal forward curvature of the spine (hunchback) is referred to as kyphosis. Scoliosis and kyphosis are spinal deformities that usually develop during childhood or adolescence and occasionally in adulthood also. If left untreated, many of these children go on to develop grotesque deformities which in addition to being disfiguring, can compromise the function of the lungs and the heart. With early recognition, these spinal deformities can be surgically corrected without significant risks. However, when children present late with severe deformities, the surgical risks increase and in cases with heart and lung dysfunction, surgery may not be possible. In addition, it may not be possible to straighten the spine completely.
There are numerous reasons why children with spinal deformities present late. One reason is the lack of awareness, leading to delayed recognition of the spinal deformityand lack of knowledge of the treatment options available. Another reason why children with spinal deformities present late is due to financial constraints. These are complex and expensive surgeries which are not readily available in most government runhospitals due to which these children are forced to seek medical care at private hospitals.
The Scoliosis Foundation of India is a not-for-profit organization established with the following aims
To increase awareness amoungmedical personnel, school teachers and the public regarding the early recognition of spinal deformities and the treatment options available.
To conduct research into the natural history and management of various types of spinal deformities.
To conduct courses, workshops and conferences relating to the treatment of spinal deformities.
To guide and assist those with spinal deformities to gain access to appropriate highquality surgical and non-surgical treatment.
At the ripe age of 17, these twin girls are giving hope to children who are suffering from Scoliosis but are unable to afford treatment due to monetary constraints. They believe that every child needs to get equal opportunity to address the condition
This is probably the largest scoliosis-screening programme in the country. While the cause among adolescents can be found out, its identification is tough as the person suffering from it does not feel pain, despite having an abnormal curve in the spine. It's important to conduct screening for schoolchildren," said Dr Thomas J Kishen, co-founder, Scoliosis Foundation of India