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.
Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington
Locations & Doctors
For Appointments: (302) 651-4200
- photo ID
- medical and pharmacy insurance cards
- preferred pharmacy name and phone number
- names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
- guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
- Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
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Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Resources for Patients & Families
- Scoliosis Guide (PDF): Check out our guide for scoliosis, developed by our Spine & Scoliosis Center experts.
We’re here to help treat scoliosis in children and teens so they can reach for their dreams, whether that means gliding across a stage, scoring the winning goal, or just feeling more mobile and comfortable in whatever they decide to do.
As world-renowned experts in pediatric orthopedics, we treat scoliosis in children so that kids can be the very best they can be, and reach their full potential with the least amount of pain, discomfort and disruption to their lives as possible.
Our Spine and Scoliosis Center
When you bring your child to the Spine and Scoliosis Center at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, you can rest assured that you’ll get top-notch care for scoliosis in children. We’re part of one of the largest and most widely respected pediatric orthopedic practices in the country and the world.