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Scoliosis - When To Call a Doctor

Call your doctor to have your child evaluated for scoliosis if:

  • You observe a curve in your child's spine.
  • You notice that something about your child's posture looks unusual, such as ribs that stick out, one shoulder that is higher than the other, one hip that is higher than the other, or an uneven waistline.
  • You observe that your child's clothes don't fit properly or that his or her hems don't hang evenly.
  • A school screening program recommends that your child see a doctor.

Watchful waiting

If you suspect that your child has a spinal curve, ask a health professional to look at it, either through a school screening program or during a doctor visit. Early detection could lead to early treatment and could prevent a curve from getting worse.

If the results of a school screening program suggest that your child may have a spinal curve, follow up with your doctor. Most curves that are found through school screening programs are normal variations in the spine or mild scoliosis, and these curves usually require only regular observation.

Who to see

The following health professionals could identify and monitor scoliosis:

A doctor who specializes in surgery of the bones (orthopedic surgeon) may be consulted if the person has a large curve. The orthopedic surgeon will evaluate the curve and may recommend bracing or surgery.

A health professional who fits people with specially designed assistive devices (orthotist) can build and fit a custom brace.

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 19, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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