What are Pediatric Scoliosis and Kyphosis?
Pediatric scoliosis is defined as an abnormal curve in a child’s spine. The curvature may be sideways or rotational in nature, and the condition can range from mild to severe.
Affecting roughly 2-3% of the overall population, pediatric scoliosis is most commonly discovered in young adolescents. In most mild cases, the condition can be treated and managed by regular doctor visits, but in more severe cases other measures like surgery or braces may be necessary.
Kyphosis, otherwise known as “hunchback” deformity, refers to a spinal curve that is forward in shape.
How are Pediatric Scoliosis and Kyphosis diagnosed?
Symptoms of pediatric scoliosis and kyphosis can go unnoticed as pain is usually minimal, if existent at all. Parents and other caregivers should check for signs of scoliosis in order to identify the condition early. Uneven shoulders or ribs, prominent shoulder blades, and elevated hips may all be signs of scoliosis.
A medical professional may diagnose scoliosis by first inquiring about the family history, as the condition is often genetic. In addition, doctors will have the child undergo an examination of the back, chest, legs, and other parts of the body that could indicate the presence of scoliosis. An X-ray is usually required to confirm the initial diagnosis, as well as track changes in the condition over time.
How are Pediatric Scoliosis and Kyphosis treated?
Pediatric scoliosis and kyphosis can be treated in a number of ways depending on the severity of the condition. The age of the child and the remaining years until skeletal maturity also play a role in determining the course of action for treatment and pain management.
In the majority of cases, children with a mild form of scoliosis will require a doctor visit approximately every six to twelve months. If the condition is progressing, a brace may be prescribed. If the spinal curve becomes substantial, a spinal fusion surgery may be required to avoid other health problems in the future.
Our experience with Dr. Young and his office has been exceptional. He takes time to listen and truly understand what the root causes are of the back pain my son has had for 9 months. He instills confidence and he has always been accessible via phone even if he can’t fit us into his schedule right away. Dr. Young and his assistant Jeanne are quality medical professionals and we are glad to have found them.
What can I expect after treatment?
When treated non-surgically, there should be no major lifestyle changes needed to accommodate the management of pediatric scoliosis. Athletics are encouraged, and sports such as swimming or gymnastics may in fact help any associated back pain improve as a result of increased core strength and flexibility. For other sports that involve contact, it is best to consult your doctor beforehand.
If spinal fusion surgery is required, children will need to remain in the hospital for a couple of days. Once they’re able to return home, daily activities like showering, dressing, and even climbing stairs can be accomplished independently in most cases. Full recovery may take up to a year, so it’s best to avoid high-contact activities that could jeopardize the healing process.