With temperatures heating up and children and teens wearing less layers now, summer is a great time to check your children’s spines for scoliosis. While not all symptoms can be detected visually, some signs of scoliosis can be recognized by the eye, making summertime the perfect benchmark for an exam.
What is scoliosis? – Scoliosis, a musculoskeletal disorder that causes an abnormal curvature of the spine or backbone (sometimes resembling an “S” or “C”). Scoliosis is most commonly diagnosed between 10-15 years of age during periods of rapid growth. Although 10 percent of adolescents may have the condition, not all will need care.
Signs of scoliosis – Children and teens with scoliosis rarely exhibit symptoms and sometimes the condition is not obvious until the curvature of the spine becomes severe. Sometimes you may notice that your child’s clothes are not fitting correctly or that hems are not hanging evenly. Other indicators include:
- One shoulder appearing higher than the other;
- One shoulder blade sticking out further than the other;
- One hip appearing higher or sticking out more than the other.
Confirming scoliosis – When confirming a diagnosis of scoliosis, a doctor will discuss with you and your child and review your child’s medical history; conduct a full examination of your child’s back, chest, feet, legs, pelvis and skin; take a series of X-rays; measure curves and identify the pattern of the curve(s).
Treatment of scoliosis – According to Amer Samdani, M.D., chief of surgery, Shriners Children’s, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for scoliosis.
“Some cases will just need to be watched; others will need physical therapy, bracing or surgical procedures to stop the curve from progressing. At Shriners Children’s, we offer a spectrum of treatments under one roof, all working together to get the best possible outcome for each child. We also treat children regardless of the families’ ability to pay, which often provides a huge relief to parents.”
For more information, call 215-430-4000 or find us on social media @ShrinersPhilly.