Scoliosis Symptoms and Treatment in Children

Scoliosis, which is especially seen in school-age children and also called curvature of the spine, can be treated with early diagnosis without the need for surgical intervention.

Let’s see what are the symptoms of scoliosis in children, are there types and how is the treatment? We explained it all in this article!

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis; It is a condition in which the spine curves sideways from the chest or waist level. We can also call it a spinal deformity. This curvature is approximately 10 degrees, and accordingly, shifts and visual disturbances may occur in the rib cage, hip and scapula region.

Scoliosis occurs in 0.2 – 6%, it is not very common.

What are the causes of scoliosis in children?

Although the cause of the scoliosis type can be detected from time to time, the cause of 80% of the cases is unknown. The causes that can be identified are discussed below.

  • Congenital bone curvature,
  • Development due to some muscle diseases,
  • Development due to diseases related to connective tissue such as Marfan Syndrome, Ehler Danlos Syndrome,
  • Polio, development due to some infections,
  • Scoliosis due to orthopedic problems.

What are the symptoms of scoliosis in children?

Scoliosis in children may show no symptoms in the early stages, or it may present with very mild symptoms. These symptoms may not be reminiscent of scoliosis, but may be a classic and daily pain. For this reason, it mostly occurs incidentally during school screening or radiological imaging for another ailment. We have mentioned the symptoms below.

  • Visual disturbance is the most striking symptom. One shoulder may be higher than the other. There may be asymmetrical images on the body.
  • Back and neck pain may occur.
  • If the curvature is intense, shortness of breath may occur.
  • The child may feel tired and sluggish.

How is scoliosis diagnosed?

When an orthopedic specialist is consulted with the above symptoms, some imaging tests may be ordered to confirm whether scoliosis is possible. Among them;

  • x-ray,
  • MR,
  • Computed tomography is available. Diagnosis can be made easily with X-rays of the spine taken from different angles. In addition, the diagnosis can be made with an instrument called a scoliosismeter, which measures the curvature of the spine.

Physical examination also gives an idea about the subject. Spinal curvature can be detected by the specialist in examinations where the child is bent forward.

How is scoliosis treated in children?

Scoliosis treatment in children is tailored to the child, depending on the severity and level of the problem. Let’s briefly talk about these levels and forms of treatment.

  • If the curve is less than 10 degrees, mild scoliosis is in question. This condition is also called spinal asymmetry. It usually does not require a treatment, but needs regular control to prevent its progression.
  • If the curvature is between 20 degrees and 40 degrees, there is moderate scoliosis. In this case, more physical therapy, exercise and corset options are evaluated. At this level, the use of corsets is very common.
  • If the curvature is 40 degrees or more , visual disturbances can be observed visually, and serious symptoms such as shortness of breath occur in the child. In this case, surgical intervention may be required. In this intervention, thin rods and screws are placed on the back and waist, thereby correcting the spine. The application of imaging methods during this process increases the success.
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