At OIC, we combine the power of leading-edge technology with world-class expertise in pediatric scoliosis. Whether your child’s scoliosis is mild, moderate, or severe, you can count on OIC for award-winning care that’s tailored to your child’s specific needs.
The OIC Pediatric Scoliosis Center is led by one of the country’s top orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Anthony Scaduto. He has received numerous awards for his work in the field of pediatric orthopedics and spinal deformity surgery, and both he and his expert team are renowned for their success in treating pediatric scoliosis.
It’s normal to have a slight curve in your spine. But with scoliosis, there’s a more pronounced “sideways” curve in the spine—like an “S” or “C” shape.
Scoliosis can appear when a child is young, but it’s most likely to occur between the ages of 10 and 12, or in the early teens. It’s generally diagnosed when the curve of the spine measures 10 degrees or more.
Mild curves that don’t require treatment are more common than larger curves that do. But if your child is having a growth spurt, a curve can become more pronounced, which may lead your physician to recommend treatment.
For reasons that aren’t known, girls are more likely than boys to develop scoliosis, and they’re also more likely than boys to develop significant curves that need treatment.
If your child has scoliosis, your doctor will generally classify the curve in 1 of 2 ways:
OIC’s Scoliosis Center has the expertise and leading-edge technology to diagnose, manage and treat your child’s scoliosis—whether the curve is mild and just needs monitoring, or severe enough that surgery is the best option.
Our dedicated team is ready to provide:
Scoliosis appears in thousands of children. The chances of having scoliosis are determined by your child’s genetic makeup. External factors such as injury, heavy backpacks or bad posture do not cause scoliosis.
The most common type of scoliosis is known as idiopathic, which means there is no definite cause of the condition. Idiopathic scoliosis typically runs in families, affects girls 8 times more often than boys, and is often detected just before or during a child’s adolescence.
A child may be born with scoliosis. This is called congenital or infantile scoliosis, and can change as a child grows. For some kids, the curve becomes straighter on its own. For others, the curve becomes more pronounced, and treatment is needed.
Some children develop scoliosis later in life due to another health condition—such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. This is called neuromuscular scoliosis. Sometimes neurological or muscular diseases can cause weakness or imbalance in the spinal muscles, which raises the risk of developing a curved spine.
Possible causes include:
Although the exact cause is usually unknown, scoliosis can run in families. So, if one of your children has scoliosis, it’s a good idea to have their siblings screened for it.
Children with scoliosis don’t always display the same symptoms. Here are a few symptoms you can look for at home.
The earlier your child’s scoliosis is diagnosed, the better the chances are for successful treatment. Pediatricians and many school programs routinely look for signs of scoliosis through a variety of methods.
The most common screening is the Adams forward bend test. A child bends forward at the waist with their knees straight and arms stretched downward. This lets a doctor or nurse see whether a hip is higher on one side or 1 leg appears shorter than the other.
Our scoliosis experts may recommend a full diagnosis if an initial screening points to a possibility of scoliosis.
Scoliosis is often treatable—but only after a child has been properly diagnosed by an expert.
The good news is pediatric scoliosis responds well to treatment. It all starts with a correct diagnosis and a treatment plan that’s tailored to your child’s unique needs.
Scoliosis is measured by the degree of curvature in your child’s spine. A curve higher than 10 degrees is typically considered a sign of scoliosis. The less severe the curve, the less likely it is that your child will need treatment.
In milder cases, we may simply monitor the spine to make sure the curve doesn’t worsen. More severe cases may require treatment to prevent your child from developing issues with breathing or heart function. This could include bracing or surgery.
As children grow, the severity of their scoliosis can change. If the curve increases, treatment may become necessary. That’s why it’s important to have a physician regularly check your child’s spine.
Determining the right option depends on:
If your child’s spinal curve is less than 25 degrees, we may recommend appointments every 6 to 12 months to monitor the spine. We’ll also schedule follow-up X-rays to make sure the curve doesn’t increase as your child grows.
Bracing is often used to treat children and teens whose scoliosis is between 25 and 45 degrees. While it may not correct the curve in your child’s spine, bracing can stop the curve from getting worse. Our custom-designed braces allow as much movement, comfort and flexibility as possible. We also offer an innovative bracing treatment for younger patients called a Mehta cast.
If your child’s spinal curvature is 45 degrees or more, or if bracing doesn’t help, we may recommend surgery.
Unlike monitoring and bracing, scoliosis surgery—called spinal fusion—can correct the curve and prevent it from returning or worsening.
Your child’s surgeon will realign the curve, then fuse the section of straightened vertebrae. Once fused, that part of the spine will no longer grow. The fused vertebrae will heal together as if they are 1 bone.
Our surgeons are highly skilled in complex procedures, including:
While every child’s recovery is unique, here’s a general timeline.
OIC is home to some of the world’s leading experts in the field of pediatric orthopedics, spinal deformity surgery and scoliosis. Our team is renowned for leading-edge research and pioneering innovative techniques that are redefining what is possible in pediatric spinal care. We take a collaborative approach to evaluating and treating scoliosis. Our team of experts is led by the following specialists:
Our doctors are supported by a specialized team of medical professionals exclusively focused on pediatric orthopedics. This team may include:
From bringing the right paperwork to driving directions, find out what you need to know for your visit.