What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is an abnormal curve in the spine
Babies can be born with scoliosis, or it can develop in children between ages 10 and 16
Scoliosis can make your child’s shoulders and hips uneven
What causes scoliosis?
Usually, a cause can't be found. Sometimes, scoliosis is caused by a birth defect.
What are the symptoms of scoliosis?
Mild scoliosis usually has no symptoms. But sometimes children have:
One shoulder higher than the other
One hip higher than the other causing an uneven waist
Mild to severe back pain
Severe scoliosis can cause:
Difficulty breathing, if the rib cage presses on the lungs
Damage to internal organs
How can doctors tell if my child has scoliosis?
The doctor will ask your child to bend forward to see if the spine is curved
If your child's spine looks like it curves, your doctor will take x-rays to confirm scoliosis
X-rays help your doctor measure how severe the curve is
How do doctors treat scoliosis?
Treatments depend on how severe the curve is.
A small curve may not need treatment. But doctors will check it regularly to see if it gets worse.
In more severe cases, treatment should be started as early as possible and may include:
A brace to try to keep the spine straight
Physical therapy to keep scoliosis from getting worse
Surgery to join backbones together
Your child may feel badly about having scoliosis or be upset about the treatment. Talking to a professional counselor may help your child feel better.