Category: Scoliosis | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
Scoliosis is a spinal condition that results in an abnormal curvature of the spine. You might think that spotting this curvature disorder in your child will be easily, but oftentimes it is not very pronounced in the beginning and slowly continues as the child and their spine develops. Since treatment success hinges on how early the condition is recognized and treated, spotting the signs of adolescent scoliosis is key.
But what signs or symptoms should you be looking for that would suggest your child may be dealing with a spinal curvature disorder? We explain some ways you can spot the subtle signs of a curvature issue in your child’s spine in today’s blog.
Spotting Spinal Curvature Disorders in Children
Scoliosis is most common in children between the ages of 10 and 16, so you’ll want to keep an eye on their spine as they continue to grow. Aside from a visible curvature of the spine when viewed from behind, some other signs that suggest your child may be dealing with a curvature issue include:
- Having one shoulder blade that sticks out farther than the other.
- Having one shoulder that sits higher than the other.
- Having a bump or lump on one side of their back.
- Leaning to one side when standing.
- Having a hitch or inhibited gait when walking.
If you notice any of these symptoms, have your family physician or a spine specialist take a closer look at your child’s back. As we said above, the sooner treatment begins, the higher the likelihood that treatment will be successful or any additional curving can be limited. One of the most common questions we get from parents of a child with a curvature disorder is whether or not the curve will get worse. There are many factors that go into answering that question, but if your child still has years of growing to do, there’s a very good chance that the curve will continue to develop unless it is actively treated.
So how are pediatric curvature disorders treated? Again, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for a curvature problem, but there are a number of different ways a spine specialist will work to correct or limit it. For minimal curves or those unlikely to worsen, regular monitoring may be all they need. Other children may benefit from soft or rigid bracing to help prevent the curve from getting worse. For more serious cases or in children who still have a lot of growing left to do, surgery may be the best option. Surgical hardware can help keep the spine in alignment and keep the vertebrae growing along the correct path.
For more information about spinal curvature disorders in children, or to talk to a spine specialist about any concerns you might have, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.