View Full Version : 16yr old...i have ?'s

07-28-2005, 10:32 PM
Hi. I am a 16 yr old girl and I was just told by my doctor that I have a curve in my spine. I had x-rays done on tuesday and am awaiting the results. I think it is mild because I had a "bend test" done a few years ago by the school nurse and no curve was noticed. However, my doctor already told me that I could either grow out of it, need a brace, or possibly surgery. I've been looking information on scoliosis up on the internet all day and most websites say that the curve would not get worse when you stop growing (which is around my age for girls, I guess). What will my treatment most likely be since most of my growth should be complete? And since it was just noticed now, does that mean it's getting worse eventhough im not still growing much? If anyone has a similar situation I would love to hear from you because it doesn't seem common for a 16 year old to be diagnosed (most kids seem to be younger). Also, would heavy lifting & carrying be bad? Should I ask my doctor about sports even if it is very mild?

Please reply if you have any input, I'm a little worried about this and it would be highly appreciated. And I'll probably be back later with more questions. :)


07-29-2005, 10:11 AM
Hi Amy i hope you don't mind a 14 y.o answering your questions but i'll try my best to answer as well as i can. My doctor told me i would probably stop growing around age 15-16 so i really don't think that you have to worry about a brace or even surgrey because you have stopped growing. No your curves shouldn't get any worse either. So whatever your curves come back in the x-rays that is going to be how your back is going to be for the rest of your life. Carrying and lifting should hurt anything i lift and carry things that are 25 to 40 lbs and i don't think thats the reason for my curves being so bad. i play a bunch of sports and my doc said that its good that i'm so active it helps make my back stronger. you shouldn't be worried about this as you have read this is a common thing among girls and its nothing to worry about. If you do have to get a brace WEAR IT AS LONG AS YOU CAN. no matter how much it hurts WEAR IT. i'm living proof that it works miracles. i'll enter my story later. Well if you have any more questions just ask and i'll try to help as best i can. ~Sammie~

07-29-2005, 10:39 AM
Hi Amy

I'm sorry if i write a bit rambly, it's quite late in Australia lol I should be in bed. Growth for a girl usually stops two years after the first period;which means yep you've probably finished growing or are nearly finished growing.

When they look at your x-rays they'll look at a number of things; the degree of the curvature/s as well as how much bone growth you have left (they can tell by looking at certain bits of the bones; I think it's around the top of the hip somewhere).

Once they know the degree of curvature; they'll decide with you a course of treatment. It is unlikely to be a brace, because once you've stopped growing, a brace has very little use in scoliosis treatment.

Up to 45 degrees; they may either leave it alone or go into a period of wait and watch. Ie check you again in a few months to see if the curvature moves at all.

Over 45 degrees; they'll probably start looking/talking about surgery. But don't panic, Scoliosis is rarely an emergency situation and if it is at the surgery level; they won't rush into it straight away and have you on the table before you know it. There'll be lots of discussions and careful planning and time to think about it and make the right decision for you.

Often diagnosing scoliosis is done by 'chance' or luck of the draw. Unless your back is being specifically focused upon for diagnosis, it may go unoticed. There are infinite reasons to why it's not been picked up until now. Curves in girls often become apparent in certain growth spurts in puberty, and may not be there before the spurt occurs.

Exercise/sports is one of the best things for the spine. Exercising keeps the muscles strong and the muscles are what help to support the spine. Low impact Activities like swimming and Yoga are particularly good for the spine. There's no reason why you can't participate in any sport that you wish to participate in.

With lifting and carrying, think about it like any other person should do. Only lift/carry what is comfortable for you, bend at the knees etc

Best wishes and try to relax


07-29-2005, 12:19 PM
thanks for your replys....and no, i don't mind that you're 14 sammie--you sound like you know what you're talking about

im still waiting for my x-ray results, they were supposed to be back yesterday or today....

07-29-2005, 03:00 PM
Well i should know what i'm talking about. I've had scolio. for well the doctor thinks i had it for 4 years but it could be longer. And i've been in a brace for 10 months today. So i've seen a lot of doctors and they have told me soooooo many things about scolio and the brace. And i come to this site about 5 times a day just hoping to help another person with scolio. if they have any questions or just need someone to talk to. I've talked to a 12 and 13 y.o and help them some and now i've talked to a 16 y.o and i hope i help you alittle. I help as much as i can. I really wish that i had this much help the first couple months of brace wearing and the first year that i found out i had scolio. but i didn't so now i'm going to help as many people as i can get through all this. Well g2g ~Sammie~

Activities: Softball, Track, B-Ball, and Drama (and some photography)
Brace: TLSO
How long i've had brace: 10 months
How long i have to wear it: 2 more years
Biggest Help I've Had with my Brace: My Friends