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Thread: New Diagnosis

  1. #1
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    Sep 2006
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    New Diagnosis

    My 7 year old son recently had a back x ray when he fell off a swing. There was no damage from the fall but his pediatrician says he has scoliosis. A 20 degree curve to the left. After telling us he will probably need an MRI then a brace she has referred him to an orthopedic surgeon but says we'll be lucky to get an appointment in 2006! This seems too long to wait.
    Is this a normal waiting time and if not is there anything I can do to speed up the process. We live in Toronto.

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    I live in the US so don't know anything about how to speed up the Canadian medical system but you should check out the SpineCor thread on this forum. Your son at his young age and low curvature seems like an ideal candidate. The inventors of this brace are Canadian doctors in Montreal, I think the hospital is St. Justines. You will see many posts from parents whose kids are using SpineCor which is a soft, flexible brace. I would urge you to not just wait and see as curves can progress very quickly. SpineCor has had amazing results with young children. The SpineCor thread is under the Bracing topic.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2004
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    Hi,

    If I were in your shoes, I would definitely call Dr. Rivard in Montreal and make an appointment. I could send you his number if you like. We travel to Montreal every 5 months by Via Rail (5 hour trip) and it's well worth it. Sick Kids in Toronto is absolutely fabulous and the doctors are exceptional but I wouldn't waste any time going there since they don't carry the Spinecor brace and I personally don't agree with rigid bracing for young children due to rib cage compression issues and host of other problems. Phew....that was a long sentence!




    celia

  4. #4
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    Sep 2006
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    Hi,
    Thanks for your reply, if you can give me their number i'll call them today.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2004
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    Hi,

    I sent you a private message. Let me know if you got it.

  6. #6
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    however, before you rush into anything, a once of measurement really should not determine treatment. a next x ray, in 3 months might show a different picture as there is always variation in the way xrays get taken/ measured. Also, one does wonders whether the fact he just had a fall could be relevant. Was he in pain, were his muscles on one side in spasm as a result of this? Could this have caused a temporary curving of the spine.

    I think if 3 or even 6 months repeat xray would comfirm the scoliosis I'd take action and then, in my view, spinecor needs to be on your list of considerations.

    ofcourse, there would be nothing wrong in arranging this follow up via montreal, so you are in the right place to start witth

  7. #7
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    Mar 2004
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    Gerbo,

    As you know scoliosis is a three dimensional deformity and Cobb angle should not be looked at in isolation. I'm sure most doctors would just look at the Cobb angle and say "let's watch and wait" BUT there could be other things brewing such as increased rotation, hypokyphosis which, if left untreated, could spell disaster for this young man when he hits the adolescent growth spurt and is then suddenly given the choice of a rigid brace or spinal fusion. Personally I would choose wearing a flexible brace for a few years versus the alternative. There is no harm in seeing Dr. Rivard for a consult.
    Last edited by Celia; 09-14-2006 at 07:54 AM.

  8. #8
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    Personally I would choose wearing a flexible brace for a few years versus the alternative.
    agree, but not before the diagnosis has been confirmed through a further xray 3-6 months after the first one

    gerbo

  9. #9
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    Sep 2006
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    Hi,
    Thanks for all your good advice. We are going to see Dr Rivard next week, just for a consultation. My son will also be having an MRI quite soon. I have 2 questions about this: is it best for young children (age 7) to be sedated during this and also I was told the purpose of this was to check for cysts or tumors that might be causing the scoliosis. Is there a likelihood they will find something. My experienced pediatrician says she's never seen scoliosis in a boy of 7 so now i'm worrying there may be an underlying cause.
    Eriacl

  10. #10
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    Jan 2006
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    There may be underlying causes that have to be corrected. But there may be nothing. It may be truly idiopathic. These tests are just a necessary precaution.
    My daughter was diagnosed at 7 and has no underlying causes. All her tests were negative.
    God has used scoliosis to strengthen and mold us. He's good all the time!On this forum these larger curves have not held forever in Spinecor,with an initial positive response followed by deterioration. With deterioration, change treatment.The first year she gained 4 or 5 inches and was stable at around 20/20 in brace, followed by rapid progression the next year.She is now 51/40 (Jan2008)out of brace (40/30 in Spinecor) and started at 38/27 out of brace(Jan2006.) Now in Cheneau.

  11. #11
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    Hi,

    I wouldn't panic either. As I mentioned to you in the private e-mail, the chances of finding "something" through an MRI is about 20 percent in juvenile cases. For parents, it's another thing to worrry about until we find out that there really is nothing else going on and it truly is idiopathic.

  12. #12
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    Sep 2006
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    Just wanted to update you and thank you all for your good advice. We saw Dr Rivard and he has my son as an 8 and 6, not the 20 degrees the clinic x ray showed! We are very pleased but also a bit annoyed that the doctors insisted there couldn't have been a mistake even when I suggested (on Gerbo's advice!) that his muscles may have gone into spasm after his accident on the swing. Dr Rivard says that the muscle spasms together with the fact that my son was told to roll into a ball when getting the x ray taken made the curve measure 20 degrees. Anyway, we were so impressed with him that we'll be going again in 6 months time. He doesn't think his curve will increase very much which is just wonderful news that we didn't expect.
    Thanks again to everyone who helped me
    eriacl

  13. #13
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    Mar 2004
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    Wow !!! That is great news! I couldn't see how a muscle spasm would create a 20 degree curve, but if his curve is below 10 degrees then it's not even considered scoliosis. Will you still go ahead with the MRI ?? I'm sure you're so relieved now.

  14. #14
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    May 2005
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    fantastic! this is such a good news, very happy for you!

  15. #15
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    Jan 2006
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    513
    Dr. Rivard! I just love that man!
    God has used scoliosis to strengthen and mold us. He's good all the time!On this forum these larger curves have not held forever in Spinecor,with an initial positive response followed by deterioration. With deterioration, change treatment.The first year she gained 4 or 5 inches and was stable at around 20/20 in brace, followed by rapid progression the next year.She is now 51/40 (Jan2008)out of brace (40/30 in Spinecor) and started at 38/27 out of brace(Jan2006.) Now in Cheneau.

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