August 8, 2016

What you should know about children and scoliosis

Diseases and Conditions | Neck, Back and Spine | Pediatric Orthopedics


Having school aged kids can be a busy time for parents, but it’s important to make sure kids are healthy and able to do all of their sports and activities well. Dr. David Schwartz, OrthoIndy spine physician, shares tips all parents should follow when looking for scoliosis.

Signs of scoliosis

Monitor your child’s back

“Parents should start looking at their children’s backs about once a year between the ages of 10 and 15 years old,” said Dr. Schwartz.

If you check your child’s back at the start of every new school year you will be on schedule to determine any abnormalities as soon as they occur.

Check symmetry

“The easiest thing to do is look at your child’s back to make sure their shoulders are level, that the shoulder blades look the same and that the head is centered over the child’s buttocks crease. Another thing you can do is have them bend forward and look for any type of asymmetries.” Dr. Schwartz also added that during the summer it’s easy to look at tan lines and make sure they are symmetrical as well.

Visit a scoliosis doctor

If your child has scoliosis symptoms the first thing the child needs to do is be seen by an orthopedic spine surgeon who knows how to treat scoliosis. Then, the surgeon and the parents can decide whether or not the child needs to be followed clinically through regular check-ups, X-rays, wear a scoliosis brace or if it will require spinal surgery.

“The majority of kids who have scoliosis are pain-free. The prevalence of children who need surgery for scoliosis is more common in girls than boys,” said Dr. Schwartz. “It’s important to know that kids with scoliosis, whether treated with bracing or surgery, will have completely normal lives and usually are not limited to any activities.”

Parent's Guide to Idiopathic Scoliosis

However, if a child’s scoliosis pain goes untreated there can be serious concerns. The child may have incapacitating back pain in the future and if the curvature of the spine gets over 90 degrees they can develop heart failure which will require a heart or lung transplant.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Schwartz, please call 317.802.2883 or learn more about OrthoIndy Neck and Back Pain treatment options.

Schedule an appointment

Your well-being is important to us. Click the button below or call us to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our OrthoIndy Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists.

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