What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a problem with
the curve in your
spine . Some curves in your spine are normal. But a few
people have spines that make a
large curve from side to side in the shape of the letter "S" or the letter
"C." If this curve is severe, it can cause pain and make breathing
The good news is that most cases of scoliosis are
mild. If found early, they can usually be prevented from getting worse.
What causes scoliosis?
In most cases, the cause of
scoliosis is not known. Scoliosis usually starts
Scoliosis that is severe enough to need treatment is most common in girls.
A curve in the spine may
get worse as your child grows, so it is important to find any problem
What are the symptoms?
Scoliosis most often causes
no symptoms in your child until the spinal curve becomes large. You might
notice these early signs:
- Your child has one shoulder or hip that looks
higher than the other.
- Your child?s head does not look centered
over the body.
- Your child has one shoulder blade that sticks out
more than the other.
- Your child?s waistline is flat on one side,
or the ribs look higher on one side when your child bends forward at the
In adults, scoliosis may cause back pain and trouble
How is scoliosis diagnosed?
The doctor will check
to see if your child?s back or ribs are even. If the doctor finds that one side
is higher than the other, your child may need an X-ray so the spinal curve can
Scoliosis is most serious in young children who are
still growing. A curve in the spine may get worse as your child grows.
So many experts believe screening your
child for scoliosis is important so that any curve in the spine can be found
early and watched closely.
How is it treated?
Mild cases of scoliosis usually
do not need treatment. Your doctor will check the curve of your child?s spine
every 4 to 6 months. If the curve gets worse, your child may need to wear a
brace until he or she has finished growing. In severe cases, or if bracing
doesn't help, your child may need to have surgery.
its treatment can be a severe strain on your child. Wearing a brace can feel
and look odd. It also limits your child?s activity. Your child needs your
support and understanding to get through treatments successfully.
What increases the risk of scoliosis?
may be more likely to have scoliosis if someone in your family has had it and
if your child is a girl. Other things that increase the chance of scoliosis
- One of the bones in your child?s spine has
moved forward out of place compared to the rest of the spine.
child?s arms or legs are missing or are abnormally short.
child has other problems with tissue growth that happened before birth.
Frequently Asked Questions