Pediatrics - Scoliosis, Curvature of the Spine
IntroductionScoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. A healthy spine has natural front to back curves. Scoliosis is a condition that describes side to side curvatures of the spine, which often also involves rotational deformities. Some people are born with scoliosis, or it may result from neuromuscular conditions, osteoporosis, or for unknown reasons (idiopathic scoliosis).
Scoliosis is a progressive condition that can become worse over time. Untreated severe curvatures can cause medical complications. Scoliosis may be monitored or treated with back bracing or surgery.
Your child’s spine is made up of a series of bones called vertebrae. There are different areas of the spine, defined by their curvature and formation. Your child’s spine has natural front to back curves. Ligaments and muscles connect to the spine and provide stability and movement.
Your child’s neck contains the cervical spine. It is composed of seven small vertebrae. Your child’s chest area contains the thoracic spine, with 12 vertebrae. The lumbar spine is located at and below your child’s waist. It contains five large vertebrae. The remainder lower vertebrae in the spine are fused together or uniquely shaped in formation with your child’s hip and pelvis bones.
Back bracing is appropriate for children with idiopathic scoliosis that are still growing, but it does not work well for those with congenital or neuromuscular scoliosis.
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