Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)
Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)
An International Organization Dedicated to the Education, Research and Treatment of Spinal Deformity
Our Mission is to Foster Optimal Care for All Patients with Spinal Deformities
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Congenital Scoliosis

Observation

Observation is usually the first method of treatment for a young child with a spinal deformity. The physician will first need to determine if the curvature is progressing or worsening. Some children will have a curvature of their spine that is stable and unchanging, whereas other children will have a curve that relentlessly progresses. Just because the pediatric spine surgeon is "observing" your child does not mean that he/she is not treating them. During this period of time, not only will your child's doctor look for changes in the curve, but they will probably order some special tests to evaluate further the child's condition and have you see some other doctors.

Your pediatric spine surgeon will probably want to see your child every four to six months and have new x-rays made. They will then measure the curves and compare them with the previously made films. The doctor will probably continue to observe your child's curves as long as there is no drastic increase in the size of the curve. In some rare cases, the curve improves or even resolves. If your pediatric spine surgeon documents progression of the curve, though, a different form of treatment will need to be instituted. The surgeon will probably want to obtain bending radiographs of the spine to assess flexibility and help determine the next course of treatment.