Avoiding pediatric scoliosis & maintaining proper posture are universal concerns shared by parents these days. However, most parents will be surprised to know that small curves are generally a normal condition of anatomy of spine. However, when curvature in children exceeds the limited range of variation, with curving to either left or right side in ‘S’ shape, will typically require medical attention & may also be diagnosed with scoliosis. Moreover, when it is coupled with kyphosis, which is another form of spinal curvature, scoliosis can influence a significant proportion of spine deformity diagnosis & will require to be treated by pediatric orthopedists.
Scoliosis is usually diagnosed as any one of the following types.
- Idiopathic Scoliosis – This is of unknown origin.
- Congenital Scoliosis – This is a condition in which bones are asymmetrical at birth & vertebrae may be wedge-shaped or partially formed (hemivertebra).
- Neuromuscular Scoliosis – When this condition is symptomatic of systemic conditions like paralysis, muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy.
Of these, idiopathic scoliosis is the most frequently found condition & may usually be first recognized during routine checkups for screening. Although children with this condition usually do not experience any pain, parents are most often able to see cosmetic signs of idiopathic scoliosis, like one shoulder appearing higher than the other or ribs protruding to one side generally owing to the twisting nature of spine. Idiopathic scoliosis patients are further categorized by the following factors.
- Infantile Scoliosis – Affecting infants from birth to 3 years of age.
- Juvenile Scoliosis – Affecting children from 3 – 9 years of age.
- Adolescent Scoliosis – Affecting adolescents from 10 – 18 years of age.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is found to occur in girls more frequently than in boys.
Early diagnosis of scoliosis remains a primary goal in all types of scoliosis. Treatment options are most often guided by specific type of scoliosis, including the degree of deformity; amount of growth left for the child & anticipated progression in each case. Infantile & juvenile scoliosis pose the greatest risk of progression of curvature along with greater risk of developing secondary pulmonary complications associated with scoliosis. However, neuromuscular scoliosis cases are rarely diagnosed at birth as this is an acquired type of scoliosis where development & progression of this condition commonly depends upon severity of underlying medical conditions like cerebral palsy. Children suspected with idiopathic scoliosis must immediately see pediatric orthopedists in order to confirm diagnosis with help of x-rays & physical examination. Spinal curvatures which are greater than 10 degrees on x-rays are normally considered to be scoliosis. Quite often an MRI of the entire spine is also recommended among children younger than 10 years of age. Images obtained through MRI will also help orthopedists detect several other problems like tethered cord where the spinal cord is abnormally attached to bony spine or syrinx, which is a cyst formation within the spinal cord.
Parents of children with scoliosis must invariable consider India for treatment. Scoliosis surgery in India is not just affordable & low cost when compared to procedures across many countries, but they are also of high quality & at par with the best in the world. Moreover, several pediatric orthopedists now practicing in India have initially trained & experienced in advanced western countries like Canada & United States. They are therefore well aware of the emerging trends & can also comfortably handle latest technologies so as to deliver successful outcomes. Orthopaedic Surgery India which is associated with the best doctors & accredited multispecialty hospitals would like to be your ideal partner in arranging a hassle-free & seamless healthcare journey so as to make this a memorable experience.