View Full Version : Questions

08-10-2005, 10:10 AM
My 14 y.o. daughter was just diagnosed by our family dr. with scoliosis. She has an appointment with an ortho next Wednesday. The family dr. wasn't able to tell me much other than the diagnoses from x-ray and observation. The x-ray showed a C shape in the thoracic region.

I've been reading all I can find trying to learn more about what we are dealing with....I'd like to be able to understand what the ortho is telling me and be ready with questions.

Here are some I'm hoping some of you might help me with :

Has a girl reached her growth after she has begun her periods? If so, will she need to be braced. Will scoliosis get worse once growth has been reached?

Did I understand correctly that scolosis can affect the central nervous system involving such things as bowel & bladder control problems?

What exactly is the Risser?

So much to understand.....Thanks for any info. I feel "lost" right now.


08-10-2005, 10:45 AM
I think all Mum's out there will be able to understand the lost information overload feeling very well. It's late at night, here, so I'll dot point my thoughts, but thought they could give some starters

-->A good guestimate (usually pretty accurate too) is that a girl usually stops growing two years after the begining of her periods.

--> The effect on the central nervous system with bowel and bladder problems is usually seen in congential scoliosis cases and not usually (rarely) in idiopathic cases

--> From what I understand, a 'Risser' is how much skeletal/bone growth there is left in the body. It goes from 0 to 5 with 0 being lots of growth left and 5 being that a person has finished growing

-->Bracing can be effective in cases where there is still skeletal growth to be completed

--> Once the skeletal growth is finished curves usually stabilish/stay where they are, but there can be some slower increase in curves

--> Remember Scoliosis is rarely an emergency situation....whatever is found at the appointment they'll take time to explain things to you and what the options are etc

--> They'll (the ortho) will be able to tell you whether your daughter has Idiopathic or Congential Scoliosis. Idiopathic Scoliosis means there is no known cause, whereas Congential Scoliosis is due to a malformation of the vertebrae, often a hemi vertebrae

Things you'll probably want to ask the ortho include

: Does she have Idiopathic or Congenital Scoliosis
: What degree is her curve/s
: How much growth does she have left
: What are our options/ the next step

Try to take someone with you when you take your daughter to the appointment, whether it be your husband or a friend. The appoinment will probably feel very information overloaded and having someone there can help with them being able to listen whilst the questions are being asked and so you can bounce what was said off each other later

Good Luck


Mary Lou
08-10-2005, 02:11 PM

Everyone of us on this forum has felt just as lost as you feel right now. Usually you are given so much information at one time that it is hard to understand. My suggestions for your upcoming appointment is: 1) write down all of your questions; 2) take someone along with you if possible (two people tend to remember things better than one nervous Mom); 3) take notes during the appointment.

Please be sure your daughter is being seen by a pediatric ortho. Also, you might want to consider a second or even third opinion.

How is your daughter taking all of this?

Keep us informed of what's going on. We're all here to help.

Mary Lou

08-11-2005, 08:45 AM
Thanks Allison and Mary Lou.

Allison, you answered my questions very well. Thanks so much.

Mary Lou, I'm so glad that you mentioned seeing a pediatric ortho. I'm almost sure that the doctor we have the appt. with is not. I haven't been able to find one in our area, but I'm still checking on that. In the mean time I guess we'll keep this appt. and see what we are told and go from there. I'm hoping this will just be a mild case and we won't need anything other than observation. But you know, she has an identical twin and they had always been close to the same height. Her twin is now 3 or 4 inches taller. So that makes me wonder....right now it's just the waiting to see.

I'm so glad I found this forum and I'll keep you informed. I'm sure I'll have more questions. Thanks you guys!


08-11-2005, 09:15 AM
No prob's :-) If you were comfortable with giving your state or area in which you live, someone here might be able to give you a suggestion of a Paed Ortho. There's also a physician locator on this website, which might also come up with some suggestions:


I think it's a good idea the way you're thinking, keep the appoinment you have (get the roll balling etc) find if he's a paed ortho and if not go from there (he might even have some suggestions)


08-11-2005, 03:59 PM
Has anyone used Drs. in the Tupelo, MS or Memphis, TN area?


08-11-2005, 04:25 PM
Hi Mary...

You can read about the Risser sign here:


Whether your daughter might be braced is a function of the size of her curve as well as how much skeletal growth is left.

And, there's no way to know for sure if your daughter's curve will increase once she's skeletally mature. Here's a chart that shows the chances of increase before her skeleton is mature:


And, heres one that shows the probabilities afterward:


I believe that bowel and bladder difficulties come into play with very large curves, so I doubt that's something over which you need to worry at this time.

Good luck!