Non-surgical treatment of pediatric scoliosis involves curve observation and/or spinal bracing. Your orthopaedic spine specialist makes a treatment recommendation based upon the results of your child’s evaluation and subsequent periodic re-assessment.
- Curve observation is recommended if the curve is smaller than 25 degrees, and the risk for progression is low. Of course, the treatment chosen is based upon the results of the child’s diagnosis. Every four to six months, the child returns for scoliosis re-evaluation. When the child reaches skeletal maturity (stops growing), thereafter annual x-rays are performed to ensure the curve is not progressing.
- Bracing is prescribed to prevent curve progression while the child grows. Generally, brace therapy is for children with a curve larger than 25 degrees and/or a worsening curve. Bracing is not recommended for patients who have reached skeletal maturity (stopped growing).
Braces are orthotics
An Orthotist is a healthcare professional who specializes in orthotic therapy. He (or she) constructs the brace according to the doctor’s prescription, ensures the brace fits properly and makes adjustments to the brace as necessary during treatment. It is important that your child wear the brace as prescribed, which may be up to 23 hours per day. While brace therapy seems limiting, children are encouraged to remain active, participate in regular sports, and other activities that kids enjoy.
Periodically, x-rays are obtained to ensure brace therapy is doing its job. The Orthotist may need to change the brace fit to accommodate necessary adjustments.
University Spine Center specialists understand brace therapy is difficult for many children. We provide many suggestions to help make brace therapy more comfortable physically and emotionally for your child.
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