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l_eriksen
10-05-2005, 03:34 PM
I know that after reading so many posts my problem is not that bad but I am still worried. I have a 14 year old son with scoliosis but I need some answers. He is no where near developed yet, he looks about 11 yrs old and I had a bone scan done that showed he is about 2 years behind for his age so that's good because he has plenty of room to grow. However his spine has curved from 2 deg to over 10deg in about a year and that seems rather fast. He has not started puberty yet (late bloomer, runs in the family). I am scared he will hit a growth spurt and it will get worse very rapidly. Is 8 degrees a lot to curve in a year? I think he is starting to hit his spurt so if he gets another x-ray in 6 months and it has curved another 8 or more degrees should I insist on a brace? I think at this point he should at least be sleeping with one to prevent more curving.

LindaRacine
10-05-2005, 05:17 PM
Hi...

You might want to read the debate here:

http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=2610

Despite an 8 degree increase in your son's curve, at 10 degrees, I think he still has very little chance of having his curve increase. Most doctors I've heard from don't even define a curve that small as scoliosis. I would encourage you to check your son's back every month to see if you notice any changes. Look for:

* Uneven shoulders
* Prominent shoulder blade or shoulder blades
* Uneven waist
* One hip elevated as compared to the opposite side
* Leaning to one side

If you see any significant changes, it might be worthwhile to move your appointment up.

Regards,
Linda

ScolioGirl
10-05-2005, 06:45 PM
8 degrees in a year isn't really rapid progression. My curve progressed 10* in a month recently, but that's really rapid. I'd say to keep an eye on it too. No need to jump on bracing too soon. Spines won't always follow the rules - they might progress during the growth spurt, they might not, they may never progress, or they could progress when you're done growing...so many things can happen. It can be hard to just sit back and not do anything, but right now it doesn't matter if your son's curve gets even another 10* worse before you begin bracing. Your son's curve right now is barely even scoliosis, which is defined as a 10*+ curvature of the spine.

l_eriksen
10-05-2005, 08:23 PM
Thanks for the info. I am still worried though. I do not see why with a 10* curved spine doctors do not recommend at least a night brace, since that is when you do most of your growing. Isn't it better to be safe then sorry. He is so small for his age already, the last thing he needs to do is wear a brace to school if it gets worse. Also, when should I worry? If I take him for an x-ray in six months how many degrees difference would be enough to think about a brace. I mean, I know it isn't supposedly needed until 25+ deg but let's just say his spine goes from 10+ to 20+ in 6 months? Also, I have read a lot of stories about spine fusion but I do not understand why their conditions came to that. Is it because these people wore a brace and it didn't work or because they didn't know until it was to late? Sorry to be a nurotic pain but my son just got through a triple surgery (double hernia and removal of a varacocele) and I barely made it through that.

starchild_81212
10-05-2005, 09:00 PM
my curve went from 36 to a 52 in 2 years which is about 8 degrees a year but mine started out at 36 so

violinprincess3
10-06-2005, 04:39 PM
welcome!

okay, so your question about why people need the surgery: usually the braces don't work, that's what happened with me, i progressed about 15 degrees in 6 months so they wanted to do surgery asap. if the scoliosis was bad enough to require surgery, i'm sure that most people would realize it fairly easily. i didn't get a brace until i had about a 25* curve, and your son's scoliosis may correct itself. i would ask your doctor about getting your son a brace if you feel that he should really have one. i hope i helped a bit. good luck! :)

Joe's Mom
10-06-2005, 07:33 PM
My son was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 13. Started out at 26 degrees (plus/minus 4 degrees is what I was told). Here is what I have learned about boys and spine curves . . .

what applies to girls doesn't always apply to boys

a boy who is later to start his growth spurt is at greater risk for more curvature than a boy who started growing earlier.

since boys grow "more" (taller, bigger) their curves can also grow "more".

My son is now 16 1/2 . . . he has also developed Scheurmann's Kyphosis and his scoli curve has progressed to 35 degrees (plus/minus 4 degrees) after not changing at all from 13 - 16 . . . go figure.

We return to the ortho in December. He now wears a night brace . . . could have gotten one at the get go, but again, with boys there isn't convincing evidence about bracing or anything.

He has also been getting PT since June and that has helped with the Kyphosis . . . don't know about the scoliosis. Will know that in December, I guess.

A conservative action plan for your son might be to visit with a PT and get a plan for therapeutic back exercises. Often times, with curves, you will find some back muscles way to tight and some way too lose. Not that in and of itself the muscle balance "causes" the curves . . .but certainly it can contribute. So if you see a PT and they detect some muscular strength imbalances, they can prescribe exercises to build weak muscles and bring the extra tight ones back into proper balance. If there is no imbalance, they can at least advise you about healthy exercises which incorporate back work (most workouts don't really focus upon back strengthening).

It is my understanding that you no longer need a physician referral for PT (but your insurance may require one). So look for a PT who specializes in KIDS and very likely they have worked a lot with kids who have scoliosis.

IT does amaze me that a PT referral isn't STANDARD for any child who shows a curve . . it is a very appropriate, non-invasive first step . . . certainly less life changing that starting out with a brace! Just my take on it tho! I'll post in December as to what the ortho and xrays show then.

ScolioGirl
10-06-2005, 10:07 PM
People usually need surgery because their braces don't do their jobs.

Your orthopedist probably didn't brace your son because it doesn't really seem necessary right now. If there's marked progression - 5* or more - within the next 6 months, then bracing might be considered.

l_eriksen
10-07-2005, 12:37 PM
Thank you everybody for all of your imput. I hope evrything works out for everyone.

LindaRacine
10-07-2005, 03:22 PM
Thanks for the info. I am still worried though. I do not see why with a 10* curved spine doctors do not recommend at least a night brace, since that is when you do most of your growing. Isn't it better to be safe then sorry. He is so small for his age already, the last thing he needs to do is wear a brace to school if it gets worse. Also, when should I worry? If I take him for an x-ray in six months how many degrees difference would be enough to think about a brace. I mean, I know it isn't supposedly needed until 25+ deg but let's just say his spine goes from 10+ to 20+ in 6 months? Also, I have read a lot of stories about spine fusion but I do not understand why their conditions came to that. Is it because these people wore a brace and it didn't work or because they didn't know until it was to late? Sorry to be a nurotic pain but my son just got through a triple surgery (double hernia and removal of a varacocele) and I barely made it through that.

If your son's curve goes from 10 degrees to 20 degrees in 6 months, the specialist might decide that's enough to put him into a brace. It really depends on the type of curve.

We go through surgery because we either weren't braced (in my case it was never diagnosed) or because the brace didn't work.

It's thought that up to 10% of the population has a spinal curve, but only about 1% will ever need treatment. So, if the other 9% of kids (for example, those with curves under 20 degrees) were put in braces, it would be a huge cost to society.

Regards,
Linda

Scolio
10-08-2005, 05:50 PM
There seems finally to be a good alternative treatment. Physical therapists have been successfully treating scoliosis in Germany for years and now there are now some therapists in the US who practice this method. It is based on the concept that scoliosis is usually due to an imbalance of your back muscles (stronger on one side of each of the three major back regions--lumbar, thoracic, and cervical) and that we have to strengthen the weak muscles and make the strong ones more elastic. Complicated, but not hocus-pocus at all.

See the following websites for more info:

English pages of the website of the Asklepios-Schroth clinic in Germany (unfortunately you need to understand German well to get treated there, and there is a long waiting list):
http://www.skoliose.com/Html/Englisch.htm

Website of Christa Lehnert-Schroth (now retired after 40+ years experience as physical-therapeutic treatment of scoliosis at the Schroth clinic):
http://www.schroth-skoliosebehandlung.de/

List of trained Schroth therapists in the US:
http://www.schroth-skoliosebehandlung.de/liste_therapeuten_eng.pdf

Newspaper article about successful Schroth therapy in Wisconsin:
http://www.wisinfo.com/journal/spjlocal/290624250400242.shtml

bgheiz01
10-22-2005, 11:40 PM
I have to get my brace soon. I found out i need 1 tues. please give me tips for life with a brace :cool: