Caring For You

Care at Every Age

Children (0-12)

Scoliosis, or the side-to-side curvature of the spine, can progress at any age, and therefore requires close follow-up throughout the lifespan. The Scoliosis Research Society has an excellent article regarding early onset Scoliosis. You can review it here.

When identified early, there are several conservative treatments that can be utilized to help prevent progression of a curve, or in some cases, even help correct it!

When identified early, there are several conservative treatments that can be utilized to help prevent progression of a curve, or in some cases, even help correct it!

Observation
For curves that are less than 15 degrees, we typically recommend close observation with scoliometer checks and/or repeat low-dose x-rays every 6 months. This allows us to detect any potential changes quickly and initiate appropriate treatment as soon as possible, giving you the best long-term results!

Physical Therapy
Schroth therapy is a method of physical therapy specific for scoliosis that can be started once a curve reaches ~15 degrees. It is a technique designed to strengthen and retrain the muscles of the back and core to hold the spine in better alignment. The goal is to elongate, de-rotate and stabilize the spine. The Schroth method consists of stretches, strengthening exercises, breathing techniques and postural training exercises using yoga blocks and balls, Schroth bars, poles and other equipment. The exercises are individualized for each person’s unique curve.

Bracing
Children with curves above 25 degrees may be eligible for a Rigo scoliosis brace. The Rigo-Cheneau brace is a light-weight brace that addresses not only the Cobb angle of a curve, but also the rotation of the spine, providing for better corrections than other styles of braces. We have an orthotist on staff who can fabricate a custom 3d-molded brace right here at the Hey Clinic! Schroth therapy and the Rigo brace can be used separately, or together, as a conservative method for treating scoliosis in children, in order to hopefully avoid the need for surgery in the future.

Surgery
If scoliosis reaches 50+ degrees, surgery is typically recommended in order to prevent future suffering. Curves in the 40-50 degree range are in what we call the “gray area,” meaning that we can do the conservative therapies, but surgery is also a potential option, if desired. While it is overwhelming for parents to think of a surgery for their child at such a young age, children/teenagers tend to have better bone quality, less surgical risk, and the fusion surrounding the hardware forms faster. This allows them to quickly return to an active lifestyle with a balanced spine.

During your visit at the Hey Clinic, we will thoroughly discuss all appropriate treatment options based on your diagnosis, and help you choose the one that is best suited for you and your family. Every patient is precious and every spine is unique. Therefore, we provide care tailored to each individual, putting YOU at the center of the decision-making process to ensure that you are comfortable and confident with the chosen treatment plan.

 
8 year old Maggie – underwent scoliosis surgery for a T8-L2 curve of 103 degrees

Skim Boarding

“Just returned from vacation – Maggie had a blast! I have attached a picture of her riding the waves and she is brace free!…There is a sweet peace among us as we are praying this new Shilla technique can minister to other suffering children. There are no words to describe God’s presence through the last week. She sat up in bed tonight and ate 4 pieces of Dominos pizza and we just finished watching a movie. She is talking just like our Maggie. Praise God!! We thank God for the wisdom He continues to give you for her treatment!!”

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