Scoliosis in children can cause the spine to curve from side to side, like an "S" or a "C." Three out of 100 people have scoliosis, and the condition can be so mild that it doesn't affect a child’s life and requires no medical treatment. But scoliosis in children can still be an overwhelming and upsetting condition. We understand — that’s why we’ve devoted our careers to helping kids, like yours, achieve their dreams, whatever they might be.
Avid dancer Rachel soars through the air six months after her spinal fusion surgery for idiopathic scoliosis. (Photo by Keith Johnson)
All of us have a little curvature in our spines. We need a certain amount so we can balance, move and walk. However, scoliosis in children can be visible, causing the body to tilt to the left or right, and it may make kids feel uncomfortable (physically and emotionally). If a curve is severe, it can even affect breathing and heart function, and lead to damage in the joints of the spine and pain during adulthood. So sometimes, kids with scoliosis may need to wear a back brace or have surgery to correct the problem.
The types of scoliosis in children we treat include:
- Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: “Idiopathic” just means the cause of the condition is unknown, but it is most likely genetic.
- Congenital scoliosis: When a child is born with abnormally shaped vertebral bones that occurred in the mother’s womb during the baby’s development. As the baby grows, a curve may develop.
- Early onset scoliosis: Diagnosed in children less than 9 years old, even in infants (also sometimes called "infantile scoliosis" or "juvenile scoliosis").
- Neuromuscular scoliosis: Often happens in children with conditions like cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and muscular dystrophy, when the spine curves because weak muscles can’t support the spine bones.
- Syndromic scoliosis: When the condition is part of a syndrome like Marfan, neurofibromatosis, Prader-Willi, Friedreich’s ataxia, etc.