Pediatric Scoliosis Specialist

Methodist Physician Group Orthopedic and Spine Center -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Methodist Physician Group Orthopedic and Spine Center

Orthopedic Surgeons & Spine Surgeons located in Merrillville, IN & Gary, IN

Scoliosis is a sideways rotation or curve of the spine that can occur in people of any age but is most common in children and adolescents. The surgeons of Methodist Physician Group Orthopedic and Spine Center in Merrillville, Indiana, can help treat pediatric scoliosis to avoid growth and mobility issues that result from spinal deformation. Call or click today to schedule an appointment.

Pediatric Scoliosis Q & A

What is pediatric scoliosis?

Scoliosis affects about 2% of all people, and while it can affect you at any age, it’s more likely to strike during adolescence. Pediatric scoliosis refers to the condition when it affects children under 18.

It’s defined by abnormal curvature of the spine from side-to-side rather than the normal S-shape from front-to-back. Mild cases of scoliosis may only need monitoring because some cases resolve themselves, while more severe scoliosis may require braces, supports, or surgery.

There are three main types of pediatric scoliosis:

  • Idiopathic scoliosis: the most common type, of unknown origin, although it often runs in families
  • Congenital scoliosis: present at birth; this is a rare condition
  • Neuromuscular scoliosis: stems from abnormalities in the nerves and muscles supporting the spine, typically accompanying conditions such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and spina bifida

What are the symptoms of pediatric scoliosis?

There’s usually no pain associated with scoliosis, particularly in the early stages, so sometimes it’s difficult to recognize. Watch for these signs in your child, and follow up with Methodist Physician Group if you notice:

  • Uneven waist height, side to side
  • Posture that consistently leans to one side
  • Elevated hips
  • Different leg lengths
  • One shoulder blade more prominent than the other
  • Uneven shoulder height, side to side

How is pediatric scoliosis treated?

Treatment depends on several factors, including the type and severity of the scoliosis. Your child’s age and the amount of time remaining in their skeletal development also factor into the type of care they receive. Most cases of pediatric scoliosis are mild. Your doctor monitors your child’s condition, typically on a four- to six-month schedule.

If the amount of curvature increases, the first treatment option is usually custom braces that prevent the spine from curving more. Most doctors typically don’t advise surgery until scoliosis curvature reaches 45 degrees or more.

Many surgical techniques apply to scoliosis and are very effective in reducing the amount of abnormal spinal curvature. If more conservative treatments don’t produce results, surgery can halt, stabilize, or even reverse scoliosis, depending on the procedure.