What are the signs of scoliosis, and how is it treated?

Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine.  The sideways curve is most often noticed when a child is growing significantly, such as right before puberty. Since about 3% of adolescents suffer from scoliosis, it is important to have all children evaluated to ensure their spines are developing properly. No one knows exactly what causes this condition, but it does seem to be hereditary.

Signs of Scoliosis

There are varying degrees of scoliosis from mild, to moderate, to severe.  Some symptoms of this condition include:Young Girl in Ballerina Outfit

  • Uneven waist
  • Uneven hips
  • One shoulder more prominent than the other
  • Uneven shoulders

If scoliosis goes unnoticed, the spine can begin to twist causing the ribs to stick out on one side.

Scoliosis Treatment

The treatment options for scoliosis depend on the severity of the curvature of the spine. Most cases of scoliosis are mild.  In this case, the treatment is X-rays and monitoring, If the signs of scoliosis begin to worsen, a brace can assist to correct the curve while the spine continues to grow. In severe cases, scoliosis can lead to deformities that are disabling.  If your child has severe scoliosis, surgery may be advised. Girls have a much higher risk of having scoliosis that requires treatment or surgery.

Finding a Specialist when you see signs of scoliosis

If treatment is necessary, your physician will guide you in the process of getting a brace to correct the problem or in severe cases, scheduling a surgery. The most common type of surgery for scoliosis is spinal fusion where the surgeon fuses two or more vertebrae together to prevent movement.  A second option is placement of a spinal rod that can grow with your child.  This is only used when the child is still young, the curve is developing quickly, and growth is also occurring rapidly. The first step will be to make an appointment for an evaluation with an orthopedic doctor. The specialists at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group can help diagnose and treat your child’s scoliosis. Give us a call to schedule an appointment today.

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