Scoliosis Q&A

Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon located in Grapevine, TX

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Scoliosis services offered in Grapevine, TX

Scoliosis occurs when the spine curves abnormally, going left, right, or both instead of straight down. If your child has an unusually curved spine, visit board-certified pediatric orthopedic surgeon Roderick Capelo, MD, at Pediatric Sports and Spine Associates in Grapevine, Texas. Dr. Capelo and his team specialize in treating scoliosis in children, including adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and congenital scoliosis. To benefit from their considerable expertise, call Pediatric Sports and Spine Associates today or book an appointment online.

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a spinal condition where the vertebrae drift to the left and/or right rather than following a straight vertical line. There are several kinds of scoliosis, the most common being adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

This disease affects around 4% of children between 10 and 18. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis curves typically increase faster during rapid growth and far more slowly when a child achieves skeletal maturity. However, some curves continue progressing through adulthood, especially when the curves exceed 60 degrees.

Far more rare is congenital scoliosis, which develops when the child is in the womb.  

What causes scoliosis?

The cause of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis in children isn’t always clear. Theories include hormonal imbalances, unequal musculoskeletal growth patterns, and muscle imbalances.

Around 30% of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients have a family history of scoliosis, so a genetic connection is likely.

What symptoms does scoliosis cause?

Children with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis don’t usually experience pain or develop problems like weakness. However, scoliosis can cause several visible symptoms, including:

Rib humps

A prominent rib resulting from spinal distortion is often the most obvious sign of scoliosis.

Shoulder height asymmetry

Shoulder height asymmetry occurs when one of the child’s shoulders looks higher than the other.

Torso lean

Torso lean is a shift to the right or left that can sometimes occur in children with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. It’s especially likely to happen when there’s a single curve in the child’s thoracic (upper) or lumbar (lower) spine and no corresponding curve on the other side to provide balance.

Torso lean makes one hip look higher than the other, and your child’s waist might appear slanted. They may also have one leg that looks longer than the other.

How is scoliosis treated?

Mild scoliosis might not require treatment if your child isn’t experiencing any problems. However, the Pediatric Sports and Spine Associates team monitor’s your child’s spine over the years so they can step in if anything changes.

Moderate spinal curvature might benefit from a brace. This device helps to realign the spine and prevent a worsening of the curve. 

The Pediatric Sports and Spine Associates team might recommend surgery for severe scoliosis. They can straighten your child’s spine, stabilize it using stainless steel rods, and may implant bone grafts.

If your child has a curved spine typical of scoliosis, get expert help from the Pediatric Sports and Spine Associates team. Call the office or book an appointment online today.