View Full Version : Just found out

10-28-2004, 05:24 PM
Hello, I just found out that my 13 yo daughter has scoliosis. The Ped said that it is only at 5* and not to worry. (We originally went to the Ped for another reason and she found it.) I realize that there are others with worse * and I feel for those families and should not complain about my situation. I feel sick b/c I wonder if I could have caught it earlier or prevented it somehow. Heck, I didn't even know that it was in her father's medical history until last night.

The Ped also said that the height my daughter is now (5'4") will be as tall as she gets. She will be crushed. Her brother is almost 6 feet tall. She was hoping to be at least as tall as me at 5'7". The Ped said IF there was a chance of a growth spurt, the * would become worse.

I know I have to tell her all of this, but how? She is so concerned about her body, etc. (What teen isn't?) Is there anything (exercises) she can do to limit any chance of * growth or to strenghten her spine?

I don't know if she would want anyone to talk to (other teens) b/c she is a private person, but I don't want her to feel that she is alone. (She was always considered the "lucky" one b/c she had no health problems like her siblings. I guess we omened it on her.)

Well thanks for your time.

10-28-2004, 05:39 PM

A 5 degree curve isn't considered scoliosis, at least by scoliosis specialists. See http://www.mgh.harvard.edu/ortho/Scoliosis.htm, which states "Scoliosis is defined as a curve measuring at least 10 degrees on x-ray."

That's the good news. The better news is that even if your daughter isn't at her full height, there is almost zero chance that her curve will ever increase:


It wouldn't hurt to have your daughter checked at her next regular physical, to put your mind at ease, but I honestly don't think anything else needs to be done. And, although you certainly can tell your daughter about it, I can't imagine what good it would do.

Hope this puts your mind at ease.


10-28-2004, 07:42 PM

Thank you for your reply, however, I do not keep secrets from my my children about their health. By letting my children about their health, it teaches them that we are not perfect and that everybody has a cross to bear of some sort.

BTW, I took the bull by the horns and told her. She took it quite well and didn't feel so odd. She already knows girls that have it, (and they have been wearing braces for years). She is starting to answer some of her own questions she has had about consistent aches and pains she has had over the years and doctors have told her that nothing was wrong. (Growing pains, we were told, although there is bone disease on my side and scoliosis on her father's side.) She is grateful that it isn't severe enough to bring attention to her w/ a brace or surgery.

I didn't understand the 2nd site you sent, and the 1st one didn't open. I am use to doctors and specialists, being as I take another child to a cardiologist on a regular basis, so I will find whatever info I can to help my daughter thru this time in her life. (If I hadn't have been persistent w/ the doctors, I would be minus a child now.) This was my daughter's checkup, so the next one won't be for another year.


10-29-2004, 12:02 PM
AK6 - I agree with Linda - technically your daughter doesn't have scoliosis, according to much of the orthopedic community. However, like you said, ANY issue with your child's health is a concern and you won't feel peace of mind until you have researched and worked through this.

There are several scoliosis sites that talk about the statistics. One of the sites I like for adolescent scoliosis is:


This has some great information as well as very good exercises to help strengthen the back and abdominal muscles. Having strong muscle structure helps stabilize the spine (as much as your own body can) and helps improve discomfort and pain.

My daughter was diagnosed with mild scoliosis on her 13th b-day. She is now 18 and has a 35 degree lumbar curve, with a significant rotation. Because she is skeletally mature, her chances of the curve progressing are slim. She has chronic back pain between her shoulderblader which are probably due to lack of upper body strength. She used to dance a lot (she's 5'7") but stopped a few years ago. She's realizing that the better physical shape she's in, the better her back feels.

Just a comment about your ped - did he do an actual xray and Cobb measurement? Even so, there is always a +/- 5 degree margin of error, when the same person reads the xray. Does her back look asymmetric when you have her bend forward? If the asymmetry is prominent, she may need to see a ped. ortho to make sure her scoliosis really is mild.

Let us know how things go.