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Old 26-07-2015, 03:42 PM
Dr Scoliosis Dr Scoliosis is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 187
Default Re: What should I do for my son?

Dear Mia,

Thank you for your questions. In reply:

1. Surgery is rarely needed for scoliosis. In general, treatment, whether surgery or bracing, is considered when the cosmetic appearance is, or is likely to become unacceptable. Bracing can stop a curve worsening (80% chance of being successful). Bracing is generally indicated for someone who has a curve between 20 and 40 degrees and has at least 18 months of growth left. Surgery is reserved for those where bracing is not an option.

2. In people with idiopathic scoliosis, the back is not weak. Exercise should be encouraged and there are no limitations to sport. Back ache is common after activities and usually settles quickly.

3. Regarding monitoring, it is recommended that your son see his GP who can arrange x rays. The next step would be the scoliosis clinic at your local children's hospital or specialist rooms. Given that your son appears to have considerable growth left, I would not delay. As can be seen above, there is a narrow window where bracing is possible and with the adolescent growth spurt, a curve may quickly go beyond that point.

4. Almost all people with scoliosis get back pain. Typically, it is an ache, around the middle of the curve. It is worse at the end of the day and after activities. It improves with rest, massage and simple analgesia like paracetamol. If pain is severe, review by your GP is recommended.

5. Ballet and other forms of dance or sport are useful at many levels. However, none will prevent the progression of a structural scoliosis. Many teenagers develop postural deformities - slumping, "round back" and the like, during growth. These are innocent and tend to resolve with time. Stretches and core exercises can help improve these postural changes.

I hope this is helpful. Many of your questions are dealt with in more detail on the website.

Dr S