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Scoliosis

Intro

Scoliosis usually occurs around age 10 years. Most school systems have screening programs that look for scoliosis. The most common test is to have the child stand with his or her feet straight ahead and with knees locked and then slowly bend over to touch their toes. If the school notifies you that they are concerned, you should contact your doctor to make a routine appointment within the next one to two months.

If your doctor (or pediatrician) examines your child and is suspicious, the doctor may repeat the exam in four to six months to see if there is any change. Most children do not need to be treated for scoliosis when the curvature is mild.

Follow-up

If your child is referred by the school for a scoliosis evaluation, you should make an appointment to see your pediatrician within the next month or so. Your pediatrician can then evaluate your child and decide whether they should be monitored with a repeat exam or referred to a specialist.

If your child is treated with a brace or surgery, you should follow the instructions provided by your doctor.

Prevention

Scoliosis is not preventable. At this time, we do not understand what causes the condition in the majority of children.

Outlook

With early screening and detection, most children with scoliosis can be treated to prevent more curvature. They can lead normal lives and have the same life span as other healthy people. The prognosis depends more on why the scoliosis occurred. If it occurs because of another dieseas, the outcome is related to the other disease rather than to the scoliosis.

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