Treating Scoliosis in your Little Ones

Scoliosis in kids

A guide to managing and treating all forms of scoliosis.

Scoliosis, an abnormal spinal curve, is the most common spine disorder with several symptoms that could persist long term. There is no specific cause to scoliosis, except that it might occur through inheritance, being mostly found in children and adolescents.

Discovering that your child has scoliosis could be frightening at first, especially when you are clueless to what you should do next. All parents want their children to get the best care possible, making it necessary to understand the disorder along with knowing what should be done.

To start, it is extremely important to have children screened for scoliosis throughout their childhood all the way to their teenage years. Early detection is key to scoliosis, helping to prevent the disorder from reaching an advanced stage.

A screening test detects scoliosis by scanning the back to look for any possible curve in the spine. Through standard practice, scoliosis is usually detected and treated once the curve of the spine reaches 24 degrees. On the other hand, Dr. Zaid Al Aubaidi, Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in Pediatric Spine Surgery, believes that detection at an earlier stage, with a curve of more than 10 degrees, allows the patient to receive early treatment and to have a higher probability of avoiding surgery.

With early detection and a mild case of scoliosis, treatment is usually done non-invasively with physical therapy essential to all forms of scoliosis.  Additionally, a modern technology, the Providence Night-Time Brace is used to treat mild scoliosis to avoid progression in the future.

The Providence Night-Time Brace is used at night for curvatures under 35 degrees, benefitting the patients by avoiding any interference with their mobility, daily activities or mental health along with achieving satisfactory results. It is also important to highlight that once mild scoliosis is detected, parents need to make sure it is treated immediately to avoid progression.

If scoliosis progresses over time and the curvature reaches an advanced stage, reconstructive surgery is usually done to stop the progression and treat scoliosis. Progression usually occurs during growth, specifically if the curve was not detected or left untreated.

With several cases of scoliosis, surgery is not the first option for treatment, which is typically a parent’s highest concern. There are many ways to treat and manage scoliosis non-invasively, while surgical intervention is generally used for advanced stages.

In many cases, spine surgery is followed with revision surgeries mainly due to chronic pain after the initial surgery or unsuccessful procedures. Therefore, finding a qualified expert to aid in the treatment and management of scoliosis is highly important.

Children with scoliosis could have a hard time dealing with symptoms which include chronic pain, limitations to physical activities, and shortness of breath, leading to negative impacts on their mental health as well. As a result, it is important to ensure that you find the right doctor for your children to avoid revision surgeries and implement a suitable treatment plan.

As Dr. Al Aubaidi explains that – “It is important to be able to give these children who are either in pain or have restricted range of motion or functionality a renewed chance at life. I’ve had parents come with their children, not believing that anything can be done for them. For all our patients, we have given them a better quality of life, if not reversed their conditions completely. Furthermore, our percentage of revision surgeries following the main spine surgery is extremely low. We however do many revision surgeries for little ones that have been treated in many other facilities within and outside of the UAE”.

Dr. Zaid Al Aubaidi, Orthopedic Surgeon at Al Zahra Hospital Dubai.

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