What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine and it can lead to serious deformity if left uncorrected. Modern medical techniques are able to rectify most cases of scoliosis before serious complications can arise. However, the presence of scoliosis may predispose a person to other serious back health problems and potential disabilities later in life. If you are suffering from severe scoliosis or related complications, you may qualify for disability benefits. At Riemer & Associates, our New York Long Term Disability Lawyers have many years of experience fighting the toughest disability claims and we can help you.
There are several forms of scoliosis, but by far the most common is idiopathic scoliosis which affects about two percent of the population. It primarily afflicts children and is almost always corrected before adulthood. Hence, there are few disability claims for people afflicted with idiopathic scoliosis. It is uncommon for adults to have severe, ongoing idiopathic scoliosis later in life. For adults, degenerative scoliosis is the most common form, and thus the most likely to cause a disability that may entitle you to benefits.
- Degenerative scoliosis may occur as a result of weakening of the bones in the spine through osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, untreated osteomyelitis or weakened bones as a result of advanced age.
- Neuromuscular scoliosis may occur when there are abnormalities in the muscle-nerve pathways in the body. It is most common in people who are already disabled and in a wheelchair; however, it can develop after severe trauma to the spine, or in individuals who have muscular dystrophy or spinal tumors.
Scoliosis does not usually cause pain because in most cases, the abnormal curvature is not severe. Likewise, acute injuries from carrying heavy objects, falling or other work-related activities generally will not cause scoliosis in healthy adults. The primary risk associated with scoliosis is the development of a condition or injury that is exacerbated by pre-existing scoliosis. A spine that is already weakened or damaged may be more likely to suffer serious injury or degeneration. If you have suffered an injury that was made worse because of scoliosis, you may have a better case for disability benefits. The New York Long Term Disability Lawyers you hire should have a strong track record of winning claims based on back injuries.
How is scoliosis treated?
Scoliosis is a condition that left untreated, will get worse over time. Gravity causes many kinds of wear and tear on the human body and an abnormally curved spine will almost certainly get worse. However, it is a slow developing condition that rarely causes pain on its own. Doctors don't typically recommend surgery unless the curvature is far outside of the normal curvature range. Lack of significant curvature does not necessarily mean that you are not disabled. Only an experienced New York Long Term Disability Lawyers can evaluate your injury and potential for success in a disability claim.
The severity of scoliosis is based on the degree of the spinal curvature. That is, the degree to which the spine deviates from a straight line and bends to the left or right side of the body.
- A curve of less than 20 degrees is quite mild and should not cause any long term problems. Your doctor will merely monitor your spine to make sure the curvature does not get significantly worse.
- Curvature of greater than 20 degrees will most likely require medical intervention. Use of a back brace to stabilize the spine is the most common treatment. Surgery may also be used if the curvature is greater than 50 degrees or the bending is placing strain on the heart and lungs.
Can I get long term disability benefits for scoliosis?
Whether you are a life-long sufferer of scoliosis and you have finally developed side effects from the condition or you have suffered an injury that led to scoliosis, you may qualify for disability benefits. You owe it to yourself to hire the best New York Long Term Disability Lawyers. At Riemer & Associates, you can rest assured that we will have your back. Call today for a disability consultation: (212) 297-0700.