Scoliosis causes an abnormal curvature of the spine. It’s extremely common, affecting an estimated 2%-3% of the US population. While most people who have mild scoliosis find that it doesn’t interfere with their lives, some children aren’t so lucky.
At Texas Spine Consultants, Dr. Michael Hennessy provides early diagnosis and corrective treatment for childhood scoliosis. By stopping spine curvature at a young age, he can help children grow up without experiencing the severe progression of the disease and its life-changing side effects.
Common risks for scoliosis
Doctors can’t identify a cause in 80% of scoliosis cases. Some children’s scoliosis can be attributed to a congenital birth defect, or a condition like Marfan syndrome, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or muscular dystrophy. For some reason, girls are 10 times more likely to have a serious case. Scoliosis is usually identified in children when they’re 10-15 years old, but the earlier a diagnosis is made, the better.
Side effects of scoliosis
Scoliosis starts with a slight curvature of the spine, and can progress until the back is visibly curved to the right or left. There may be rotation of the spine, and your child might look hunched. The abnormal spine curvature usually puts pressure on the cartilage and nerves in the back, causing chronic back pain.
Over time, the bones continue to grow improperly and might even fuse together. Your child’s spine can become rigid and unyielding. Eventually their heart or lungs can develop problems, and their risk of premature death increases as they get older.
Benefits of catching scoliosis early
Dr. Hennessy specializes in the early diagnosis of scoliosis, as well as treatment at all ages. When children with scoliosis are diagnosed before curvature is severe, typically when they’re toddlers, corrective measures can be taken.
A body brace can help straighten the spine and help it grow naturally. If scoliosis has advanced into adolescence, surgery may be needed to correct curvature that’s already made the spine start to become rigid.
With early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, many children with scoliosis can lead unaffected lives. And if you suffer from untreated scoliosis, it’s not too late. A treatment plan can be created to help ease your condition and treat chronic pain.
If you think you or your child has scoliosis, don’t delay treatment. Call one of our two locations in Addison and Plano, Texas, to schedule a consultation, or request an appointment using our convenient online booking tool.