A sideways curve in the spine of a child or teenager is usually a sign of an orthopedic condition known as scoliosis. Scoliosis screening provides early detection so any necessary scoliosis treatment can begin.
Scoliosis usually does not cause pain. Many children do not even realize they have it. Screenings at school and regular doctor checkups beginning at age 10 can help catch scoliosis early. If you would like to meet with a specialist, Dignity Health Central California can help.
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Diagnosing Scoliosis Symptoms at Dignity Health Central California
If the curve is small, there may not be any scoliosis symptoms. Larger curves can make your child’s back appear curved or cause changes in posture.
As a child grows, signs and symptoms can include:
- One shoulder blade sticking out farther than the other
- One hip sitting higher than the other
- Ribs sticking out more on one side
- Uneven shoulders
The most common type of scoliosis is idiopathic scoliosis. This means doctors do not know the cause. Scoliosis does, however, tend to run in families. Other types of scoliosis of the spine include congenital scoliosis from a birth defect and neuromuscular scoliosis from another medical condition, such as muscular dystrophy.
Your Dignity Health Central California orthopedic doctor will work with you and your child to determine the best plan for care. Treatment options will depend on the size of the curve and if your child is experiencing any symptoms.
Scoliosis Treatment for Your Health & Well-Being
If your child is still growing, your doctor may continue to monitor the scoliosis. Small curves may not require any treatment.
Back bracing can help for more prominent curves. A back brace will not straighten the spine, but can prevent the curve from getting worse.
Very large curves or curves that continue to increase can create complications, such as changes in lung function. Spinal fusion, a type of spine surgery, can help relieve these symptoms.
For early scoliosis screening, meet with a Dignity Health Central California orthopedic doctor near you.
Dignity Health Central California’s trusted orthopedic doctors diagnose and offer compassionate care for scoliosis in Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA.