In children, juvenile scoliosis or paediatric scoliosis is a condition where the spine of a child is curved sideways. The Scoliosis Research Society defines scoliosis in children as a spine curvature of at least 10 degrees in a child. Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis (JIS) is a curvature of the divide between the ages of 3 and 10 and is most commonly found in children. The medical term "Idiopathic" refers to a condition in which the cause is unknown.
Idiopathic paediatric scoliosis can be divided into three distinct categories. When the spinal curvature of a child was first discovered, they were placed in one of three categories:
Adolescent scoliosis can be mistaken for juvenile scoliosis if a child with juvenile scoliosis (scoliosis that develops in childhood) is not diagnosed until later.
A child is said to have a mild case of scoliosis if the curve is less than 20 degrees. Mild scoliosis is typically treated by being under the care of a physician until the curves become more severe. The chart below illustrates why a child's scoliosis is more dangerous the younger they are when it is first discovered. Even a mild case of scoliosis in a child is likely to worsen as the child grows older.
According to scientific studies, long-term outcomes for the non-surgical treatment of scoliosis curves are positive. Smaller curve sizes yield the best results when utilizing only these specialized exercises (below 30 degrees). Scoliosis exercise programs must be supplemented with 3D over corrective bracing for larger, more significant than 40 degrees to achieve the best results.
According to research, exercise has shown to be an effective treatment for scoliosis in children as young as six years old. The younger the child, the less they will be able to understand and follow along with the exercises.
It is common to use scoliosis bracing in children with curves more significant than 30 degrees or those at high risk of progression.
Scoliosis braces come in a variety of names and styles. In the last 75 years, brace materials and designs have changed dramatically, as has everything else in modern technology.
Plaster casts were the standard of care until recent advancements in plastic brace materials and design made casting unnecessary for young children. [page needed] Because it is impossible to remove a cast, it can be considered a full-time brace for 24 hours a day. Casting has several drawbacks, including muscle atrophy and a soiled case.
To increase the flexibility of the curve and keep the child still while the plaster is applied, general anaesthesia may be required for the child before the cast is placed. The cast is typically changed under a second general anaesthetic every six months.
It can be more challenging to treat patients with a progressive deformity who are not candidates for bracing, such as those who are weak, have mental retardation, skin or chest wall intolerance, or have stiff and significant curves that do not correct primarily during serial casting. The deformity can be corrected using halo-gravity traction while also improving the respiratory system.
Anaesthesia is used to apply a metal band around the patient's head. The ring is attached to the patient's skull with pins. After the patient gets used to the halo's presence, it doesn't cause discomfort. The following day, traction is applied to the child's bed or wheelchair using ropes, pulleys, weights, or springs. If the patient's family is on board, treatment can be performed in the patient's home. Each of the children takes a series of X-rays as the traction weight increases. Surgery to fuse the scoliotic curve is usually the next step in treatment after the spine has shown the most significant improvement.
When a child has a spinal deformity that necessitates surgery, various considerations go into the decision. If the child's curve continues to progress despite conservative treatment such as scoliosis exercises and bracing or casting, something must be done. There are many ways to stop the progression of a curve, but surgeons face the challenge of doing so without affecting future development. As most scoliosis surgeries work by halting abnormal spinal growth with a procedure called spinal fusion, this may be unavoidable.
Your child should be taken to the hospital immediately if they show any signs of scoliosis, and a thorough examination will determine whether or not the child has the condition. If so, you should discuss the various treatment options available to your doctor. Most cases of scoliosis can be cured with the proper pediatric treatment options.