Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves either to the left or to the right. Usually, this condition is detected during early childhood, which is good news since treatments that are begun during childhood have a great success rate. Which treatment your doctor recommends will depend on the severity of your child's spinal curve and their age. Here's a look at the most commonly recommended treatment options.
If your child is still growing, your doctor may refer him or her to an orthopedic physician, like C D Denison, who can design a custom brace. This brace fits around your child's midsection and puts pressure in the proper areas to prevent the spine from developing any more of a curvature. A brace won't straighten the spine, but it will keep mild scoliosis from worsening to the point of causing any symptoms or long-lasting issues.
Modern braces for scoliosis are much more comfortable than those used decades ago. They're usually made from a soft, plastic-like material, and they are nearly invisible when worn under clothing. Your child can take the brace off for certain activities, but it should not impede their ability to play sports and otherwise move around. Most children only need to wear a brace for a year or two.
Sometimes physical therapy is used alone for mild scoliosis, and other times it is combined with a brace for moderate cases of scoliosis. Your child's physical therapist will show them exercises that help elongate the spine and stretch the muscles in the back to encourage it to grow properly. You'll need to observe your child at home to make sure they perform these exercises daily or as often as recommended.
Surgery is only recommended in the most serious cases. If your child's curve seems to be getting worse over time and your doctor is concerned that it will eventually affect your child's ability to walk, stand up straight, and perform other daily tasks, then surgery may be recommended.
Spinal surgery for scoliosis certainly has its risks. There is a risk of infection, as with any surgery, and there's also a chance of permanent spinal damage leading to numbness or a loss of movement in certain areas of the body. However, these risks can be minimized by working with an experienced spinal surgeon and by following your child's doctor's instructions as closely as possible post-operation. Most children with severe scoliosis heal from the surgery and have a much better quality of life as a result.Share