is the most deforming orthopedic problem confronting children.
It is a potentially progressive condition that affects children
during their active growth phase and essentially subsides
upon completion of spinal growth, leaving the child with
a permanent deformity. Early recognition and early treatment
can be effective in halting its progress and in many cases
result in improvement.
effects of scoliosis in the child and its persistence into
adulthood are primarily cosmetic. However, pain can be significant
even after therapy and severe scoliosis can result in cardiopulmonary
complications that can decrease life span."
a term used by Hippocrates, means abnormal curvature of
the spine. When looking at someone from behind, the spine
curves either like a "C" or like an "S."
The curve is named by the side of convexity, i.e. if the
curve looks like an "S," the top curve would be
left and the bottom curve would be right. There are many
theories as to the cause of scoliosis, but the true causative
factor remains unknown. It is now estimated to be present
in 1.4 per thousand of the population, with approximately
2 percent of the adult population demonstrating some degree
of spinal curvature. "The most important factor in
ensuring early diagnosis of scoliosis is to routinely examine
all growing children at regular periods during growth. These
periods should preferably be at six-month intervals from
early childhood until full maturity with greater attention
during the rapid growth phases that usually occur from ages
8 through 12.
diagnosis depends on an awareness of its possibility with
the hope that early diagnosis will ultimately reveal early
minimal scoliosis and result in early referral for treatment."
initial examination of the patient consists of observation
from the back, front and side in the standing and bent forward
position. If a significant scoliotic curve is discovered,
X-rays are taken of the involved area of the spine from
the front and side. A measurement is taken to determine
the severity of the curve. Both the degree and rapidity
of progression of the curve determine the proper treatment
of the patient.
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