As children grow taller their spines may begin to curve in different directions. About one in 100 children will develop scoliosis - a curvature of the spine that is usually painless and oftentimes can simply be monitored throughout childhood. If the curvature becomes more pronounced, the child may require a brace or cast, with the most severe scoliosis cases requiring surgery.
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If you have scoliosis, it doesn’t mean you are sick. It just means you might need to have some help – like a growing tree – to straighten out your backbone as you grow taller.Pediatric Orthopedic doctor
Scientists don’t know what causes scoliosis yet, but they know it’s not inherited from parents and it’s more common among girls. While usually painless, many people live their whole lives with mild forms of scoliosis. But much like a young tree that begins to bend sideways, scoliosis that goes untreated can cause problems later.
The symptoms of scoliosis aren’t always obvious. It’s often diagnosed during a regular checkup, or sometimes parents notice a slight hump in their child’s back when they bend over. Some children are diagnosed with infantile scoliosis during their toddler years. Once scoliosis is identified, it is important to begin monitoring the curvature to ensure it doesn’t worsen.
Doctors at Riley at IU first test for adolescent scoliosis by watching your child’s back as he or she bends over. Doctors look for a rotation of the spine near the rib cage. If they detect an abnormal rotation, physicians take standing X-ray images of your child using EOS imaging, a special 3-D, low-dose radiation system designed for repeated scoliosis monitoring.
Scoliosis severity is measured by the degrees of the spinal curvature:
There are several treatments for scoliosis, depending on the age of the patient and the severity of the spinal curve:
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.
In addition to our primary hospital location at the Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, IN, we have convenient locations to better serve our communities throughout the state.
Pediatric Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
575 Riley Hospital Dr
Indianapolis, IN 46202
This 5-year-old with scoliosis can’t wait to take a bath and splash in the pool.Continue reading