As a leading provider of pediatric spine care in Northern California, Shriners Hospitals for Children provides scoliosis care to kids in communities near and far. Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that can restrict movement and lead to other serious conditions. While the term “scoliosis” is familiar to many, the pediatric spine team says it is important for parents to be aware of signs and symptoms. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.
What does scoliosis look like?
Scoliosis is a musculoskeletal disorder that causes an abnormal curvature of the spine — or backbone. In a child diagnosed with scoliosis, the spine may resemble the shape of an “S” or a “C.”
What causes scoliosis?
In nearly 85 percent of scoliosis cases, there is no known cause.
Does scoliosis run in families?
Scoliosis can be hereditary. Children who have a parent or sibling diagnosed with scoliosis should receive regular check-ups for early detection.
What are the symptoms of scoliosis?
Children and teens with scoliosis often do not exhibit symptoms until the curvature of the spine becomes severe. You may notice that your child’s clothes are not fitting correctly or that hems are not hanging evenly. Common indicators to watch for include:
- one shoulder appears higher than the other;
- one shoulder blade sticks out farther than the other;
- one hip appears higher than the other;
- the child’s body or head leans to one side;
- ribs appear higher or seem to stick up one side;
- the waistline appears flat on one side.
How is scoliosis treated?
At Shriners Hospitals for Children, treatment options are tailored to the individual needs of each child. There are both surgical and non-surgical options, depending on the patient’s needs.