When a Child’s Spine is Curved

When a Child’s Spine is Curved | Todd J. Albert, MD | NYCEvery person’s spine is curved. The problem that some people experience is that the curvature of their spine is not appropriate; it doesn’t fall into the line that it should. An abnormal curvature of the spine is referred to as scoliosis. This condition is often first diagnosed when a child is between 10 and 12 years old. Ideally, it would be diagnosed much earlier. This way, a plan for management or treatment may be developed before a substantial growth spurt.

What Parents Should Know

There are a few key points about scoliosis that may help parents as they move toward the treatment that is best suited for their child.

  1. The early bird gets more than the worm. We hear this often about medical conditions: early diagnosis is crucial. When it comes to a child’s spine, this is true. Scoliosis may first develop in one part of the spine, then extend to other segments. Because treatment may involve fusion, it is better to address a smaller area than a larger section of the spine. Also, the normal adolescent growth spurt may have a dramatic effect on spinal development, worsening the curvature that exists.
  2. It may be in the family. There is scientific evidence that scoliosis likely runs in the family lines. What is interesting, though, is that parents may not see this because affected family members may have never been diagnosed.
  3. But wait! There’s More! Set the parental guilt aside. Science has yet to determine exactly why some children develop scoliosis, even with the genetic link. This condition cannot be prevented, which means no fault lies with a parent whose child’s spine has an abnormal curve.
  4. This also means that a child is not to blame for the spinal curvature. Heavy backpacks and poor posture are not good for spinal health, but neither causes scoliosis.
  5. Don’t fret treatment. Only 30% of children diagnosed with scoliosis require a brace for correction. Furthermore, surgery is necessary in only 10% of cases.

Schedule a Consultation

Don’t wonder about scoliosis or how it may be treated. Schedule an exam with your child’s pediatrician.

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