A normal spine—which is the line of bones going down your back—is usually straight or slightly curved. In scoliosis, the spine curves from side to side, often in an S or C shape. It may also be twisted. Scoliosis can affect adults, but it usually is found in children, especially girls between the ages of 10 and 16. Scoliosis can limit your child's growth. In very bad cases, your child's lungs may not be able to hold enough air. That can cause the heart to work harder to pump blood.
Young people who have scoliosis usually do not have symptoms, but some may have back pain.
If your child has mild scoliosis, he or she may need only to see a doctor every 4 to 6 months to make sure the curve is not getting worse. A child who has moderate scoliosis may need a brace. A brace usually stops the curve from getting worse, but it is not able to correct or straighten the spine. Scoliosis that is very bad may need surgery. Scoliosis and its treatment can be hard on a child. He or she may be embarrassed by wearing a brace. Think about taking your child to a scoliosis clinic, where other children are being treated. It may help your child cope with the condition.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: November 29, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
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