Does your child suffer from a spinal deformity? Does her spine bend towards one side? If you nodded along anxiously, then you might want to read our post. Your teen may be suffering from scoliosis. What is it? How do you treat it? Get the answers to your questions regarding teenage scoliosis here.
What Is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a condition where the spine bends to one side, either right or left. The curvature can range from moderate to severe. Scoliosis mostly affects the chest or lower back. The cases of scoliosis in teens seem to have risen recently, and many who suffer from scoliosis don’t require treatment, as a majority of them get back to normal when they grow older.
Risk Factors For Scoliosis In Teens:
Scoliosis symptoms are apparent during the growth spurt that occurs just before puberty.
Females have a higher risk of worsening symptoms.
If you had scoliosis as a teen, your teenager is more likely to develop the disease.
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Symptoms Of Scoliosis In Teenagers:
Some of the symptoms of scoliosis include:
- When the shoulders are not of the same height.
- Head of the teen is not centered and slightly tilted.
- One of the shoulder blades is more evident than the other.
- Clothes do not fit properly.
- The teen often leans on one side.
- Another symptom is the uneven length of legs.
- One of the hips might look more prominent than the other.
- Ribs are of different height (1)
[ Read: Symptoms Of Meningitis In Teens ]
How Harmful Is Scoliosis?
The curve does not require a surgery. If ignored, the curves might progress and thus create greater problems, one of them being the deformity. Studies say that females are at higher risk than males, and a surprising figure of 8 out of every 10 cases is of a female (2).
Diagnosis And Treatment For Scoliosis In Teenagers:
- The first step towards diagnosis is going through a physical examination. The curve is apparent as the child bends forward, and her spine looks tilted towards left or right.
- An X-ray is taken to see the exact deformity. Once you recognize the problem, it is important to visit a spine specialist. The treatment protects the teen from further deformity.
- The specialist might also recommend a bone scan, a radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream, and the material travels to parts of bones and hence detect the part of the body that is affected.
- A specialist might either use a cast or brace.
- The second option is a surgical correction – This includes Minimal invasive correction, Endoscopic thoracic release or spinal fusion with the help of instruments.
- The result of treatment solely depends on the level of the spine curve. It is important that the parents support teen at every level, as the teen might have serious issues with the self-image when she has to wear braces. The doctor has an equally important role to play; by explaining the teen the treatment options and helping her adjust to the situation.
[ Read: Kidney Stones In Teens ]
Types Of Scoliosis Treatment For Teenagers:
Parents can also join the discussion forums and discuss their child’s scoliosis issues with the other parents. It is also a good way to learn more about the deformity. The reason for developing the curve is still unknown. Studies have proven that it can be hereditary, and the parent with scoliosis may give birth to a child with the deformity. Though scoliosis is a lifelong problem and does not have a sure shot cure, the deformity can be controlled with early diagnosis. Teens should pay additional focus on the calcium intake to make sure the bones are strong. Proper exercise and diet are critical for the child’s development, and to avoid obesity (3).
[ Read: Causes Of Appendicitis In Teens ]
In today’s era, scoliosis is no more a disease, early intervention, and modern treatments offer teens a normal life. If you have any other information on Scoliosis, do write to us. It will help us educate others about the condition. You can also share the experience of someone who suffers from teenage scoliosis; the precautions and treatment procedure they are undergoing.
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