Scoliosis is a relatively common condition, but many of the people who have it aren't aware that they do. Mild cases may not ever be diagnosed.
At Dr. Louis Keppler and Associates, our providers understand that finding out your child has a spinal problem can be overwhelming. You probably have many questions! In this post, we provide some basic information about scoliosis and encourage you to discuss your questions with your child’s doctor.
Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine. Instead of extending straight down from the back of your neck to the top of your pelvis, when you have scoliosis, your spine curves so that it’s C-shaped, or even has two curves so that it’s S-shaped. In some cases, the vertebrae also corkscrew.
Around 2-3% of people have scoliosis, but many don’t know it, because the curve is minor and never causes any problems. There are different types of scoliosis, but idiopathic scoliosis is by far the most common. Idiopathic means “no known cause.”
Scoliosis is typically diagnosed in children who are between ages 10 and 12. As kids grow, their spines also grow and with that growth, the curve(s) become more obvious.
Only around 30% of people with scoliosis need any kind of treatment. For those who do, that treatment may include bracing or surgery, or a combination of the two. Outcomes for people who have surgery are quite good.
What should you do?
If your child has scoliosis, you may wonder what you should do? Should you keep them from playing sports? Could a heavy backpack be to blame? Do they need to see a specialist?
First, you should remain calm. Scoliosis is common and manageable. Next, you should schedule an appointment with an orthopedist like Dr. Keppler. Orthopedists specialize in treating disorders of the musculoskeletal systems, which includes the spine.
Watch and wait
In the vast majority of cases, the recommendation is to watch and wait when it comes to scoliosis. Your child’s doctor will likely recommend regular X-rays to see if the curve progresses. If it doesn’t, and your child doesn’t have problems because of the curve, no treatment is necessary.
If it does progress, your child’s doctor recommends treatment based on numerous factors, including the severity of the curve and whether or not your child is experiencing discomfort.
Why did this happen?
You may be wondering what caused your child’s spine to curve, and the honest answer is that experts don’t really know. They do know that it isn’t because of sports or carrying too many books, though. Most scientists suspect that scoliosis is largely genetic.
It’s always best to get advice regarding your child’s health from a trained and qualified practitioner. Schedule your appointment at Dr. Louis Keppler and Associates today so that you can get information about your child’s diagnosis.