Scoliosis (Idiopathic, Neuromuscular and Congenital)
If your child has scoliosis, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare can help. Gillette is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in pediatric orthopedics and in the treatment of pediatric spine conditions, including scoliosis.
Whether your child has idiopathic, neuromuscular or congenital scoliosis, the primary goal of any treatment is to stop the curve from getting worse. Regardless of severity, scoliosis pain is rare. In many cases, surgery isn’t necessary if scoliosis is detected early and your child receives proper care.
Treatment of scoliosis varies depending on a patient’s age, the degree and pattern of spinal curvature, and the type of scoliosis. Treatment options include:
Regular physical exams
If your child is still growing and has mild to moderate curves in the spine, Gillette experts will see your child every four to six months to monitor scoliosis. As your child grows, the position and stability of the spine can change, making regular orthopedic visits important.
If your child is still growing and has more severe curves, a scoliosis brace can prevent the curvature from getting worse. Bracing doesn’t straighten existing curves, but stopping the progression of the curve might help your child avoid surgery.
There are different types of braces for scoliosis—your child might wear back braces (also known as spinal orthoses). Most scoliosis back braces are custom-made to fit your child’s body, can be worn under clothes, and can be removed for certain activities.
If your child has severe curves, surgery might help correct or control the curve. Surgeries include:
- Spinal fusion surgery, which permanently joins back bones together.
- Vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib (VEPTR) surgery if your child has severe curves that cause an inability of the chest to support normal breathing or lung growth (also known as thoracic insufficiency syndrome).
- Magnetically driven Growing Rods (MdGR) for children who have early onset scoliosis, if bracing is ineffective. Expandable, magnetic rods are implanted and act as internal braces to keep the curve from getting worse as your child grows. The rods can be lengthened during outpatient visits with a noninvasive remote controller. Gillette is the first hospital in the region to use this FDA-approved treatment.
To date, there is no evidence that chiropractic care or scoliosis exercises can alter the progression of or improve scoliosis. However, physical therapy can address related conditions, such as weak abdominal or back muscles or muscle tightness.
Scoliosis can range quite a bit from mild to severe. Whether your child has minor curvatures and is otherwise healthy, or has complex underlying conditions, highly trained experts at Gillette can help manage your child’s spine condition.
Your child deserves a lifetime of excellent health care—from birth through adulthood. The family-centered environment at Gillette is designed to help your child achieve the highest possible levels of health, independence and happiness.
You’ll get help navigating the services you need to treat your child. The specialties and services most often involved in scoliosis care include: