When parents hear that their child has scoliosis, it's only natural to want to know what this means for their child's health and future. Will this curve get worse, they wonder? Will my child ever need to wear braces or have surgery? Will the surgery make my child unable to move?
Even though scoliosis is not life-threatening and can lead to good things, this is a normal reaction. Families may worry less about their child's diagnosis of scoliosis if they know more about the science behind it and how it is treated.
Parents should ensure that their kids get regular check-ups so that health problems like scoliosis can be found and treated early. If scoliosis is seen before a child has a growth spurt, the doctor can come up with a treatment plan to keep the curve from getting worse when the child grows.
People with scoliosis often have uneven shoulders or hips, but the condition is usually painless and may not be noticed until a routine exam or physical. Between the ages of 10 and 12, children typically become more private, and their parents no longer help them with things like bathing or getting dressed, which would have been a sign that something was different.
Parents: If your child is told they have scoliosis, it's not your fault. Parents often wonder what they could have done to stop their child from getting scoliosis. However, scoliosis is a fascinating disease because no one knows what causes it or how to stop it.
Many parents also wonder if their child's scoliosis was caused by bad posture or carrying a heavy backpack. Even though these two things may be linked to other back and spine problems, they do not cause scoliosis independently.
Some patients with scoliosis automatically think they will need treatment, but only a small number — about 30 percent — do. Even fewer patients — about 10 percent — require surgery.
Suppose scoliosis is found in your child. When caught early, scoliosis is easy to take care of. An external torso brace can be used on children who are still growing to stop scoliosis from getting worse as the child grows. Even if they have to wear a brace, most kids live their everyday lives and do the same things as their friends.
If your child is one of them, the doctor who does more than 150 spine surgeries a year tells parents that even though it may be hard to decide, their child should have surgery sooner rather than later. When surgery is done early, it is usually easier because less of the spine needs to be fused. He says that maybe what's more important is that your child is in good health overall and has the support of their family while getting better. Parents should also work with their child's school to plan for the time the child will miss while recovering, usually one to two months.
Most kids with scoliosis are told they have it between 10 and 15 years old. Scoliosis is much less likely to show up in babies or young children. Patients with "early-onset scoliosis" tend to face a different set of risk factors. Early-onset scoliosis is sometimes accompanied by other health problems, like a distorted chest wall, spina bifida, or cerebral palsy. As children get older, the curve of their spines may get worse, making it more likely that they will need braces or surgery.
But kids with scoliosis who are diagnosed at a young age may grow up generally without help from doctors. Working with a specialist will help parents learn more about what treatments their child might need and what problems they might face.
Usually, scoliosis is passed down to children through their genes. Even though this might be confusing for parents who didn't have scoliosis as kids, it may have happened to someone else in the family, like a great-grandparent. No one is to blame if a child has scoliosis, even if there is a history in the family. Yes, a child's health needs to get a lot of exercise and eat well. But scoliosis itself can't be stopped, so there's nothing parents could have done to change their child's diagnosis.
Depending on which experts you ask, girls may have scoliosis more often than boys. Doctors aren't sure of the exact causes, but how women's bones are built makes them more likely to get this condition. If your teenage daughter is much taller than other girls her age, it's a good idea to check for scoliosis often.
One easy way to check is to have your child stand up straight and lean over so you can see how their back curves. If the ribs on one side of your child stick out more than the other, or if the spine curves to one side in a noticeable way, it's time to take your child to the doctor.
If you think your child has scoliosis, you should take them to a orthopaedic doctor right away. Know that you are not alone and that there are many things you can do to make sure your child with scoliosis lives a happy, healthy life.