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apple68
10-05-2005, 07:34 AM
Hiya, we've just been refered to the spinal unit after a visit to our peadiatrician over a problem with what we though was my sons eyes. He seemed to have developed a really bad squint. As soon as the doctor looked at him she asked him to take off his shirt and she checked his spine and said she was refering us to the spinal unit. She feels James is appears to be squinting because he is holding his whole body in the wrong position to compensate for the curve she saw in his spine. As soon as she said this I could see it instantly and it explained why he was so clumsey lately too. He does lean quite heavily to one side and his shoulders aren't the same either.

This has come as quite a shock to us, especially as James has Aspergers Syndrome so as you can imagine he already has a whole heap of other things to contend with. Can anyone give me any idea of what to expect at the appointment so that I can help James prepare for it?

Apple xx

marmyte
10-05-2005, 07:40 AM
you can expect your son to have full spinal xrays and these will then be reviewed by a doctor who will probably also do a physical exam - asking him to bend over, he may also test reflexes and strength in his legs by asking him to push against the doctor's hands with his feet when lying down (hope that makes sense!) the doctor will probably also ask your son to bend to either side and backwards, to assess his flexibility.

using the xrays, the doctor will determine the degree of your son's curvature, and should also tell you what his risser sign is (this is a 0-5 scale, 5 meaning your son is skeletally mature) and using these factors should set up a treatment and monitoring plan.

you don't say how old your son is - this has an effect on what treatment he will need (as well as curvature obviously)

depending on the degree of curvature, your son may be fitted for a brace to hold or decrease the size of the curves and if there is a progression over time or the curves are large he may be referred for surgery. but please don't panic! the first time is quite tricky as it can be difficult to know what to ask until you've been told certain things

if you have any questions, i'd be happy to answer - as you can see from my signature in almost 5 years i've been through the whole process :)

apple68
10-05-2005, 07:44 AM
Sorry James is 13 and he's only just started to grow and hasn't yet really hit puberty but he's getting there fast ;)

marmyte
10-05-2005, 07:57 AM
ok well he may be at risser 0/1 then...it all depends on what the curves are and how quickly the surgeon thinks they may or may not progress