Scoliosis in children causes a curvature of the spine mostly either in the upper end, or the lower back of the spine. It is common among teenagers especially those who are entering puberty. Scoliosis cases are more common in females than males. About 3% of adolescents suffer from scoliosis.
What are the causes?
The C-curve or the S-curve of the spine can be diagnosed only when the curve creates an angle of at least 10 degrees. It mostly occurs in adolescents but can appear at any age.
The causes of scoliosis are still unknown. There is no definite answer to why scoliosis happens. Doctors predict that it may occur due to cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or spina bifida. It can also happen by birth.
Spinal surgeon Birmingham recognizes two types of scoliosis- structural and non-structural. Structural scoliosis causes permanent curving of the spine that may happen due to an injury. On the other hand, non-structural scoliosis is temporary as the main structure of the spine remains the same.
What are the signs of scoliosis?
It is quite difficult to notice scoliosis in children. The curving doesn’t show much of a difference in the child’s appearance. However, if parents notice carefully, they may point out various signs.
A few scoliosis patients feel chronic pain, breathing problems, weak, and become less able to perform physical exercises. But in symptomless cases, there are some signs caused due to the bending that can help you recognize the problem. These signs are-
- Uneven hips
- Unmatched shoulder and shoulder blades
- Uneven distance between the arms and the body
- Unmatched folds in the waist
- Muscles may appear large and look clumpy at the lower back
- Ribs may stick out at a place due to the curving
- Slight difficulty in moving the back easily
How can it be diagnosed?
A doctor first looks for the visible signs of scoliosis that are mentioned above. For a better diagnosis, the doctor may perform some neurological tests to see any trace of muscle weakness, numbness, or abnormal reflexes.
If these tests don’t help, the orthopedic doctor would suggest an X-ray to get a clear picture of the curvature of the spine. For more detailed information, an MRI can be done too.
Treatment for mild scoliosis in a child needs to visit the doctor to check the curvature condition of the spine. Some mild exercises may help to improve the condition and prohibit the further curving of the spine.
However, the treatment may depend on a number of variables like the sex of the patient, the pattern and condition of the curve, curvature location, age of the patient, and so on.
In case the growth hasn’t stopped, the patients require to use a brace to prevent the growth of the bones. The brace is fitted around the rib cage, lower back, and hips. Better results can be achieved by wearing it all the time.
In a very rare case, an orthopedic back surgeon would opt for surgery if the condition gets worse. Consult a spinal surgeon in Birmingham to get the best treatment for scoliosis.