Even though we tell our children to sit up straight, it's virtually impossible. Like adults, all children have some curve in their backbone. But some children and teenagers have a condition called scoliosis, which causes an exaggerated or irregular curve of the backbone (spine). Scoliosis affects about 7 million people in the United States, more than 2 percent of the population.
The first signs of scoliosis usually appear when your child is between 10 and 15 years old. You should suspect the condition if:
Though many cases don’t require treatment, some get worse over time and can eventually affect the lungs, heart and joints. That’s why it’s important for a specialist to monitor your child’s condition closely.
If you notice any of the signs of scoliosis, Mercy is ready with a range of screening and treatment options – even surgery if necessary. Your Mercy Clinic pediatrician can coordinate care with a specialist to diagnose the condition and help correct your child’s posture, so he or she can get back to an active, healthy lifestyle.