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Old 03-09-2010, 10:17 AM
claudia1234 claudia1234 is offline
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Default in disbelief


My 11 yr old child has been diagnosed with scoliosis, she has three curves in her spine upper, middle and lower - degrees 27, 39 and 32., she has no pain in her back and does not complain of headaches either. We want the best possible outcome for her as any parent would, the surgeon recommends the boston brace, I dont know what to do, wait ...........need advice
Old 12-09-2010, 05:40 PM
Dr Scoliosis Dr Scoliosis is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 187
Default Re: in disbelief

Thank you for your enquiry but it is not possible to give you specific advice on the basis of the information that you have provided. However, some advice in general terms may be of assistance.

If a parent takes their child to see a specialist in any discipline and is not at ease with the advice given, which would seem to be the case with you, then the correct and best way to handle the situation is to say to the specialist that you would like a further opinion. Doctors always welcome this suggestion and will often suggest it themselves, sensing that a parent is having difficulty coming to terms with the advice offered. There is an old saying in medicine, and old sayings are usually sound – beware a doctor who does not welcome a request for a second opinion. If a parent is apprehensive about asking for a second opinion then the family doctor can forward the request on the parent’s behalf.

The position parents find themselves in is easily understandable. For example, if surgery is advised it is they, not the child, who has to make the decision. Further, if the child has a scoliosis this is a condition about which they nearly always know little if anything and this heightens their concerns. It is quite a different situation from, say, appendicitis which is a relatively common condition and the public at large appreciates this is a surgical emergency.

If a parent has difficulty in understanding the advice given at the initial consultation it is usually a good idea to ask for some further written information about the disorder or for a pertinent website address and then to return for another consultation at a later date. This website has a web page on frequently asked questions about scoliosis which parents find useful.

It is most important that a parent does not go off on a tangent and seek a further opinion without informing the specialist who was first contacted. Indeed, this would be professionally quite discourteous. For scoliosis there are relatively few surgeons in any one city dealing with this problem and one needs to be sure that the person from whom a second opinion is sought is also a specialist in the field. The original specialist should write to the specialist from whom the second opinion is sought and provide the relevant clinical information, including his/her opinion. Now, to the point which the public finds difficult to appreciate but which is most important. The specialist from whom the second opinion is sought communicates with the first specialist consulted and not directly with the parents. This is particularly important if, for one reason or another, the two opinions are quite different. This situation is uncommon and needs to be handled carefully. Hence, the guidelines detailed. Not infrequently the two specialists will discuss the problem by telephone and this is always helpful.

It is then the responsibility of the first specialist consulted to relay the second opinion to the parents in the clearest of terms and also to pass on this information to the family doctor. If these guidelines are followed then the outcome is usually quite satisfactory.

The guidelines for consultation as outlined apply throughout the medical profession and for patients in all age groups.

We trust this general advice is helpful.

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