Talking to Your Doctor About Scoliosis

Your child has their own health history. Talk with your child's doctor about your child's risks and background with scoliosis. You can take an active role in your child's care by talking openly and often with the doctor.

Tips for Getting Information

Here are some tips that will make it simpler for you to talk to your child's doctor:

  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have one more person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write your questions down so you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get and make sure you grasp what you are hearing. Ask for help, if needed.
  • Do not be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more info. You have a right to know.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About Scoliosis:

  • Does my child have a spinal curve?
  • What degree is the curve?
  • Has it caused any other health problems?
  • Was it caused by a health problem?

About Your Child's Risk of Getting Scoliosis:

  • What is the chance that my child might get scoliosis?
  • Should my other children be screened?
  • Are there any ways to lower the risk?

About Treatment Options:

  • Can my child be watched instead of wearing a brace or cast?
  • How often will appointments be needed?
  • Will a brace or cast be needed?
  • If a brace is needed, how long will it have to be worn each day?
  • How many years will a brace or cast be needed?
  • Will surgery be needed?
  • How will we know if surgery is needed?

About Lifestyle Changes:

  • Are there any things my child should not do?
  • Are there any exercises that might help?

About Outlook:

  • Could this result in disability?
  • How likely is it that my child's curve will get worse?
  • Is there anything I can do to slow my child's scoliosis?
  • Are there other things that my child's scoliosis can be linked with?
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References:

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated June 1, 2019. Accessed July 24, 2019.
Congenital scoliosis and kyphosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated January 19, 2016. Accessed July 24, 2019.
Idiopathic scoliosis in children and adolescents. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons website. Available at: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/idiopathic-scoliosis-in-children-and-adolescents. Updated March 2015. Accessed July 24, 2019.
Infantile and juvenile idiopathic scoliosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated March 5, 2018. Accessed July 24, 2019.
Scoliosis in children and adolescents. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/scoliosis. Updated December 30, 2015. Accessed July 24, 2019.
Last reviewed June 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 7/24/2019

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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

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