Childhood Scoliosis Symptoms & Warning Signs
When an individual has unnatural curving and rotating of the spinal column, he or she has a spinal deformity that is referred to as scoliosis. According to the National Scoliosis Foundation, approximately 7 million people in the United States have scoliosis.
A normal spinal column has curves located in the lower portion of the back and in the upper portion of the back. On the other hand, when an individual has scoliosis, his or her spine curves in other areas as well. On average, scoliosis detection occurs at some point between the ages of 10 and 15. This spinal deformity affects males and females equally: However, females with scoliosis are eight times more likely to need treatment as the disorder progresses.
Symptoms and Warning Signs
Since scoliosis is seldom painful during the formative years, scoliosis may go unnoticed for quite some time. Consequently, parents need to know what signs may indicate that their child has scoliosis.
Once your child turns 8 years old, you should watch for the signs listed below:
- An uneven waist
- A tendency to lean to one side
- Uneven shoulders
- Back pain
- Hips that appear to be higher than would be expected
- Excessive tiredness/Fatigue
- Protruding shoulder Blade(s)
- An abnormal curvature(s) in the spinal column
- His or her head is not centered properly (it should be centered directly above the pelvis)
Although there is no cure for scoliosis, there are treatments designed to disrupt the progression of the curve. If left untreated, the scoliosis curve may worsen and the spine itself will twist or rotate.
The Importance of Monitoring Spinal Changes
Although the majority of scoliosis cases will not require active treatment, monitoring spinal changes through periodic examinations and x-rays is vital. If changes are evident, one of the orthopedic doctors at Southeast Orthopedic Specialists will determine which treatment will provide your child with the best possible outcome. Early detection of changes to the spine may allow for successful treatment using just a brace.
Successful brace treatment requires:
- Early detection of spinal changes while the child is still growing
- Periodic examinations by an orthopedic surgeon
- A mild to moderate curvature
- A supportive family
- A cooperative child
- A brace that fits the child well and is replaced promptly once the child outgrows it
- A continuance of normal activities (exercising and dancing, etc.) without the use of the brace: As permitted by your child’s orthopedic surgeon
The orthopedic surgeons at Southeast Orthopedic Specialists have been treating children with scoliosis for years. With early detection, we can usually treat a child who has a mild to moderate curvature with a custom-designed brace. If you are searching for an experienced, board-certified orthopedic doctor, please contact us today at (904) 634-0640. You can also use our online contact form by clicking here. For the convenience of our patients, we have six locations throughout Southeast Florida.