Scoliosis is a sideways, backward or forward curve of the spine. Curves are often described as S-shaped or C-shaped. Early detection provides the best treatment options in order to minimize the likelihood of complications.
People of all ages can have scoliosis. The most common type is idiopathic scoliosis, which occurs in children after the age of 10 during their growth spurt. Girls are more likely than boys to have this type of scoliosis. A screening by your child’s health-care provider is recommended each year between the ages of 10-18 years. This screening may include medical and family history, physical exam, X-ray of the spine and other tests.
If scoliosis is diagnosed, the doctor may recommend observation, bracing to stop a curve from getting worse or surgery to correct a curve or stop it from getting worse when the person is still growing. Other treatments have not been shown to keep curves from getting worse.
Your child should be evaluated by a healthcare provider if you observe any of these signs: prominent shoulder blade (one sticks out more), uneven hips, one shoulder higher than the other or uneven appearance of the back when bent over. The nurse in your child’s school is available to answer questions and provide information.