View Full Version : Why does thoracic curves bend to the right?

12-27-2008, 11:01 PM
thoracic curves almost always bend to the right hand side. It is so common that if you have a curve that bends to the left it is recommended that you get an MRI examination to rule out any other pathology.

So why does thoracic scoliosis prefer the right side?

12-27-2008, 11:54 PM
I'm a leftie :eek: but so far have not had to have a MRI.

12-28-2008, 07:31 AM
I'm a leftie :eek: but so far have not had to have a MRI.

My dd has a left thoracic as well with very little compensatory curve.

She had an MRI but we were told it was to make sure the spinal cord wasn't compromised.

Other than that, the only thing I've read is that a left thoracic could indicate some underlying condition--but I couldn't tell you what it would be.

I plan to ask that at my dd's appt. in Feb.


12-28-2008, 02:45 PM
After reading this, I Googled like crazy, but found nothing to indicate that levoscoliosis (left pointing) indicated an underlying condition. If anybody knows anything about this subject, I would be keen to know.

12-28-2008, 05:22 PM
Hi JenniferG

hope this will help

try google with: left thoracic scoliosis mri
and you will get better results

anyway I attached a link to an article that mentions about left thoracic.. I think the whole article is very informative about Idiopathic Scoliosis in general and recomend anyone i search of factual information about IS to read it.

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: Review and Current Concepts (http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010701/111.pdf) (Am Fam Physician 2001;64:111-6.)
States in their abstract: Severe pain, a left thoracic curve or an abnormal neurologic examination are red flags that point to a secondary cause for spinal deformity.

in the article they say: Magnetic resonance imaging is indicated whenever there is a left thoracic curve, unusual pain or abnormalities on neurologic examination, or other red flags, to evaluate for spondylolisthesis, tumors or syringomyelia.

12-29-2008, 12:29 AM
Thanks FixScoliosis. I appreciate you taking the time to find that link.

I checked out that and other sites and it seems there is an increased risk of a few neurological disorders. From what I read, an MRI is indicated if the left curving scoliosis is rapid progressing, which mine is not. I was barely aware I had scoliosis until my fifties so I am hoping this is the reason I have not been sent for an MRI.

12-29-2008, 01:29 AM
Hi JenniferG

In left thoracic scoliosis MRI is used to rule out "red flags", these usually serious conditions that will show themselves after a while, within few years. The recommendation to perform an MRI does not mean that all cases have something else causing it, it only means that something odd is discovered more often than in right thoracic curves and this applies more to JIS and AIS forms of scoliosis.

In your case you can be quite relaxed, if you had something else being the cause, then you would have noticed it years ago.

12-29-2008, 03:01 PM
Thanks FixScoliosis. My nerves have settled down again, quite nicely!:D

12-31-2008, 08:51 AM
I apologize if I caused any undue stress.

I'm concerned about my dd, but she's had no pain or anything like that so I didn't really pursue it.

I will check out the link. Thanks for posting it!


Karen Ocker
12-31-2008, 02:19 PM
Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: Review and Current Concepts (Am Fam Physician 2001;64:111-6.)

In most patients, life-threatening
effects on pulmonary function do not occur
until the scoliotic curve is 100 degrees or

I've come across several articles documenting pulmonary impairment at curves of 60deg. I've referenced these in other forum posts. Perhaps when this article was written(2001), using references which were much older, pulmonary function was not studied as often.

I'm a case in point. I've never smoked, am not obese nor do I have asthma but my pre-revision pulmonary function was 30% reduced. I was actually very frightened how out of breath I became with minimal exertion(no cardiac problems either) and I did lose lung tissue. After eating a big meal I felt I was smothering. Revision surgery improved this greatly but I still have residual reduced lung capacity. I have enough, though, to go hiking in the Alps every year.

When enough lung capacity is lost, surgery is no longer an option because anesthesia cannot be tolerated.

12-31-2008, 03:00 PM
Absolutely no need for apology, Marian!

I am learning more and more via this forum which I think is great.


12-31-2008, 07:04 PM
some research scientists have concluded that it is our internal organs and their asymmetric anatomy in our chest that is causing the thoracic scoliosis to prefer to bend to the right side.
For further explanation of how they came to that conclusion and proper references you may read my last two post in Dec 2008 in my blog.