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Thread: New Diagnosis - 5 year old with 21 degree curve

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    New Diagnosis - 5 year old with 21 degree curve

    Our five year old's pediatrician noticed a curve in her back at her five year well visit, and her x-ray revealed a 21 degree curve in her thoraculumbar spine, from T7-L4. She's also a toe walker & has a half centimeter difference between her right and left iliac crest height.

    We live outside the metro NY area, so we've made appointments to see Dr. DelBello in Westchester, Dr. Widmann at the Hospital for Special Surgery, and Shriner's in Philadelphia (Dr. Cahill).

    I'd be grateful for any insight into treatment/doctors, or just general info, as we wait for our appointments. Thanks so much!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    I'm so sorry to hear that your daughter has been diagnosed with scoliosis. It really sounds like you are already on top of things. As you explore this site you will find much helpful information and insight from other parents like yourself.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Shriners Philadelphia


    I am sorry to hear your news. My daughter was diagnosed at age 6 so I understand how difficult it can be.

    I haven't heard of the first two docs you mention, but my dd was a pt for several years at Shriners Philly (we later transferred to St Louis due to surgery scheduling issues) and I am sure you can not go wrong there. I never met Dr Cahill, but we saw Dr Betz. This is a great team that sees probably more juvenile scoliosis than almost any other spine program.
    Gayle, age 50
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1

    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    2010 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    2017 curves stable/skeletely mature

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Well said, Gayle!

    Annie - My son has been going to Shriners (Philadelphia) for over 7 years and has received superb care. We live in NYC and have good insurance but continue to travel to Philly for follow-ups, etc.

    Dr. Cahill was not with Shriners when we first sought treatment there so he is not David's doctor - however, I know several families whose children do see him and they are unanimously thrilled with both Dr. Cahill and the care at Shriners Hospital.

    As Gayle pointed out, juvenile scoliosis (JIS) is a different animal from AIS and really requires a specialist who sees these cases routinely. HSS is a very good hospital but they don't see large numbers of children as young as yours. In fact, our former ortho (before we found Shriners) was affiliated with HSS, although we went to this doctor's Long Island office and I found the waiting room was mostly filled with teen and preteen girls (i.e., the more typical scoliosis cases).

    At Shriners, I could immediately see that they were very comfortable treating a young child (my son happened to be 5 when we first went to Shriners as well), and I could see children of all ages, young and old, in the clinic from the first visit. I also found that at Shriners, they saw the whole child, not just the spine (hope that makes sense) but the truly seemed to understand things like the challenges of bracing, for example, etc. And since they focus so much of their practice on juvenile cases, they offer treatment options that are not available everywhere else.

    Best of luck - please feel free to email me for any additional information.
    Last edited by mariaf; 11-08-2011 at 03:42 PM.
    Mom to David, age 17, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently mid 20's)

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