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Scoliosis is the lateral deviation of the spine and affects not only adults, but more commonly affects children and adolescents.
4% of children aged 10-14 have detectable scoliosis. 60-80% of those affected are girls. While most cases of childhood and adolescent scoliosis stop progressing once spinal maturity is reached, progression of the curve past spinal maturity is not uncommon.
Since the abnormal curvature may not be obvious upon inspection of the back, even to the trained eye, an uneven shoulder height or clothes not appearing to hang off the body symmetrically may be the first indication. Also, a complaint of back pain, ache, discomfort or fatigue may be present. However, this does not generally occur until later stages after the spinal ligaments and muscles have been chronically irritated.
While most cases of childhood and adolescent scoliosis stop progressing once spinal maturity is reached, progression of the curve past spinal maturity is not uncommon. If the lateral curvature continues to progress, cardiovascular compromise can result - ultimately leading to severe disability or death.
Scoliosis treatment in the child consists of:
The goal is to eliminate discomfort and prevent progression of the lateral curvature. If the curvature continues to progress severe spinal deformity can occur resulting in physical disability and cardiovascular compromise.
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