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scoliosis patient with doctor


Scoliosis is a sideways curve of the spine with rotation of the vertebrae.

The most commonly seen scoliosis is Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis, and develops during the years of rapid growth. Other forms of Scoliosis include congenital, where vertebral anomalies are responsible for the curvature, early onset idiopathic scoliosis, where the curve is diagnosed under the age of ten years, and neuromuscular types due to conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscle dystrophy.

Common signs and symptoms of scoliosis may include:

  • Uneven shoulders and hips
  • Constant leaning to one side
  • Prominent ribs on one side when bending forwards
  • Uneven waist creases

With most cases of scoliosis, there is no obvious reason a child has it. Genetic causes are suspected and this is a current focus of research in the world.

Your health professional can check if you have Scoliosis using a physical examination. Often this is confirmed with an x-ray.

Treatment will vary depending on the age of the child and severity. It may include monitoring, bracing or, in a small number of severe cases, surgery with insertion of screws and rods to straighten the spine.

Monitoring via repeat x-rays every 4-6 months is usually recommended for mild curves.  Bracing can be recommended for moderate curves on a growing child with braces worn under the clothes. Surgery may be recommended for severe cases.

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