How to Tell If Your Child Has a Curved Spine

How to Tell If Your Child Has a Curved Spine

Scoliosis is a serious condition, predominantly affecting children between ages 10 to 16.  Presenting as a curved spine, the condition can also be seen in younger children and adults.

If you suspect your child may have this condition, there are some simple ways to discern if there’s a curvature in play.  How to tell if your child has a curved spine is a matter of observation on your part.

Things to look for.

When your child’s spine has a curve, the effect can be rotation of the ribs.  To discern whether this is the case, ask your child to bend forward.  If there’s a curvature, it will be indicated by an elevated portion of the ribcage when looking at your child’s back.

Scoliosis may also cause children to habitually lean to one side or the other, or for one shoulder to sit higher than the other.  Some children will have one shoulder blade that protrudes.  A lump or hump on one side of the back is another sign your child has a curved spine.

Timely diagnosis is key.

While children are still growing, spinal curvatures will become more pronounced.  If you see any of the foregoing symptoms in your child, it’s, therefore, crucial that you seek a diagnosis as soon as possible, so remedial treatment can be applied.

Infantile scoliosis is not as simple to detect as scoliosis in older children and occurs in toddlers and infants under the age of three.  Sometimes, a spinal curvature in children of this age group will improve.  Once an infant can sit up, though, a curve can be more easily discerned.

Young children should undergo diagnostics like x-rays to determine if a curve is present.  A scoliosis diagnosis in the early years of a child’s life can mean more severe problems later in life, like pulmonary issues.  As the spine continues to twist, breathing may become difficult.

With timely diagnosis, scoliosis in very young children can be ameliorated with the use of a plastic brace to slow the curvature.

Scoliosis and pain.

Approximately 1/3 of children with scoliosis experience pain, but you can help your child relieve this with targeted stretching and strengthening exercises for the core.

I advise that you pursue a clinically directed program, in addition to your own efforts, as these have seen amazing results in children with curved spines.  The Scroth Method and scoliosis-specific Yoga are two examples of therapeutic exercise that can contribute to better health and wellness, as well as pain relief.

Scoliosis and Spine Associates.

As I said earlier, the first thing you should do once you’ve determined that your child has a curved spine is to seek diagnosis.  Depending on the severity of the condition, Scoliosis and Spine can then proceed with appropriate treatment.

At Scoliosis and Spine, we favor a conservative therapeutic approach.  We’re on the leading edge of innovation and state-of-the-art treatments to serve our patients with spine care that puts their needs first.

Contact the Scoliosis and Spine Associates team.  Let us help.

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis – Staying Ahead of the Curve

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis – Staying Ahead of the Curve

This variety of scoliosis is a challenge for both patient and doctor, but it’s a challenge that can be met with the right approach.

Adolescents go through growth spurts and during those times, curvatures caused by scoliosis can progress rapidly.  That said, there are also periods during which progression is extremely slow.  Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) treatment and care require vigilance and pro-active approaches to stay ahead of the curve.

New research offers hope.

Scoliosis & Spine Associates is fortunate to benefit from the work of our lead specialist, Dr. Baron Lonner.  His role as a leader in scoliosis research brings our patients leading-edge care derived from ongoing research into treatment and prevention of scoliosis.

A study by the Chinese University of Hong Kong recently revealed that supplements can play a role in the treatment of AIS.  Combining Vitamin D with calcium is being identified as a therapy capable of preventing the progression of scoliosis curvature in girls between the ages of 11 and 14.

Subjects in the study with a Cobb angle of 15 degrees who were also suffering from reduced bone mass, responded favorably to supplementation.  The supplements were blind-tested against a group of study participants receiving a placebo, in two groups with different dosage levels.

After two years, the combination of Vitamin D and calcium showed significant improvement in the groups who’d received the supplements.  There is hope that this therapeutic approach will revolutionize the treatment of AIS.

Ongoing study.

Research continues into the role of supplementation in the prevention and treatment of AIS.  Researchers are also exploring the role of nutrition in staying ahead of the curve and supporting patients with the condition.

The future for young people suffering from AIS is brighter, as physicians begin to see the value of the Hong Kong research as an ongoing practice in the treatment of their AIS patients.

But with Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, staying ahead of the curve demands a sensitive partnership between physicians and patients that maintains vigilance over progression.  Every patient is different.

While supplementation is a hopeful addition to the arsenal in the war on scoliosis, other therapeutic approaches are deployed for maximum effect.

A comprehensive approach.

A comprehensive approach to AIS implicates a variety of therapies working together to stay ahead of the curve.  Bracing and physical therapy are part of that.

Bracing serves to stabilize curvatures, particularly during periods of rapid growth.  Physical therapy, which may come in the form of scoliosis-specific Yoga, stretching and strengthening, works to build the patient up physically, also promoting patient physical awareness.

It’s our belief at Scoliosis & Spine that a plan for treatment should be developed between the caregiver and the patient, resulting in a coordinated and pro-active program in which the two parties to treatment work together closely.

At the root of a comprehensive approach to AIS is the relationship between doctor and patient that’s built on trust and common purpose – staying ahead of the curve.

Contact us for more information about Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and staying ahead of the curve.

Dr. Baron Lonner Presenting at Setting Scoliosis Straight Foundation

Dr. Baron Lonner Presenting at Setting Scoliosis Straight Foundation

lonner

Dr. Lonner is seen presenting at a research meeting of the Setting Scoliosis Straight Foundation. He serves on the Board of this organization which fosters research into the treatment of pediatric scoliosis and related spinal deformities. He has authored over 100 publications on spinal deformities based on clinical research that he and others designed to answer important questions for patients and their families. These studies have directly impacted Dr. Lonner’s surgical and non-operative treatment of patients and those of other surgeons and is what drives his passion for research- providing the best and safest possible care for patients.

Dr. Lonner Presents Research at Annual Scoliosis Research Society Meeting

Dr. Lonner Presents Research at Annual Scoliosis Research Society Meeting

scoliosis spine surgeon

The Scoliosis Research Society was founded in 1965 with a twofold mission: to educate surgeons and to facilitate optimal care of patients with scoliosis and other spinal deformities. The annual meeting of the Scoliosis Research Society brings together medical leaders from all over the globe with the overarching aim of the society in mind, providing researchers and medical practitioners with a forum to share new research and discuss important trends in order to improve the quality of treatment and care options for patients with spinal deformities. Our own Dr. Baron Lonner, MD, a top scoliosis spine surgeon and member of the Board of Directors of the SRS, spoke at this year’s annual meeting, which was held earlier this month in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dr. Lonner is the chief of the Division of Spine Surgery Mount Sinai Beth Israel, as well as a leading professor of Orthopedic Surgery.

"The Scoliosis Research Society is comprised of leaders and practicing surgeons from around the world who gather every year to share current research and trends in the care of patients with scoliosis and spinal deformities,” Dr. Lonner explained. “This society has spread knowledge amongst surgeons around the world that has directly impacted hundreds of thousands of patients. Members of the SRS have become my friends and our collaborations together have furthered the well-being of patients, their treatment with surgical and non-surgical techniques, and led to improved and safer results or outcomes following surgery.”

Scoliosis Research Society Meeting

Dr. Lonner was especially honored to be a part of this year’s annual meeting, as it was dedicated to commemorating advancements made in the care and treatment of those with spinal deformities. “This year's meeting was special because it was a celebration of our collective history and the lessons we have learned in helping our patients,” Dr. Lonner said. “I was honored to have three podium presentations, including one in which I discussed the latest techniques in scoliosis and kyphosis care." He also presented papers on decreasing blood loss in scoliosis surgery and operative treatment of Scheuermann kyphosis, a condition that increases the normal round back in the upper spine, resulting in a hunchback-like appearance.

Dr. Lonner and the SRS Board of Directors

Dr. Lonner and the SRS Board of Directors

Over the course of the past 50 years, the Scoliosis Research Society has positively impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients. Dr. Lonner is proud to be a member of this society and to serve its overarching mission, having served on several of the organization’s taskforces. Dr. Lonner is a leading spine surgeon in the Mount Sinai Hospital and Health System and is the Chief of the Division of Spine Surgery at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. As an active researcher and having presented dozens of research papers in meetings around the world, Dr. Lonner hopes to continue making valuable advancements in the field of spinal deformities.