Spine Diagnostic Tests
After reviewing your child’s medical history and completing a physical exam, your provider may order certain tests that help to provide more detail to help establish a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. These include X-ray, EOS x-ray , CT scan, MRI or an Ultrasound.
Based on information gathered at your child’s visit and additional tests that are completed, your provider will develop a management plan best suited for your child. It may include one or more of the options below.
Spine Treatments Available At Gillette
Options for how to manage scoliosis depend on the curve size and how much growing a patient has left. There are a number of different management options.
The spine team may simply recommend that some patients be monitored on a routine basis with repeat clinical examinations and/or x-rays.
A brace may be prescribed for children and teens who are still growing. A brace guides growth with the intention of slowing any possible increase in curve size. Once the majority of growth is completed, your provider will slowly decrease the amount of time that the brace is worn until you are done wearing it completely.
Your provider may recommend a cast to help manage the spinal curve. Casting is recommended for very young children with scoliosis. The type of casting we use to manage scoliosis is Mehta casting. A Mehta cast is a body cast that fits around the torso.
Supported by the latest equipment and techniques, your child has many options for outpatient therapy. The utilization of physical therapy programs will assist your child with pain management and help them function at a high level.
Scoliosis specific exercises are used to improve posture, alignment, body awareness, and alleviate back pain for individuals with scoliosis. Exercises are modified by a specially trained physical therapist for a patient’s specific scoliosis curve.
Most patients with mild scoliosis at skeletal maturity (when the spine is no longer growing) will lead a normal life with no limitation. For patients with more significant curves, there is a higher likelihood that the curve will continue to progress into adulthood. Although it will progress slowly, throughout a lifetime this can add up to a significant curve which can be more difficult to correct and have an impact on quality of life.
For significant curves, surgical intervention may be the best option. Learn more about scoliosis surgery.