Children's Hospital's team of experts provides specialized care for kids with scoliosis. We offer the only multidisciplinary program in Milwaukee and Wisconsin just for kids.
Our orthopedic team believes in a simple approach to treating scoliosis. Surgery only is for the most severe cases. We see more than 3,000 scoliosis patients each year, but surgical patients make up only 3 percent of our total scoliosis visits.
What is scoliosis?
A normal spine, when viewed from behind, appears straight. A spine affected by scoliosis shows a sideways curve and a rotation of the bones in the back, known as vertebrae. This gives the appearance that a child is leaning to one side. The Scoliosis Research Society defines scoliosis as a curve of the spine measuring 10 degrees or greater on an X-ray.
In most cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown, but doctors do know that scoliosis is more common in girls than boys and often is inherited from a parent. Scoliosis usually is diagnosed when a child is between the ages of 10 and 15 but can appear anytime a child's spine is growing.
Common symptoms of scoliosis
A child with scoliosis will usually have differences in:
- Shoulder height.
- Hip height or position.
- Shoulder blade height or position.
- The way the arms hang beside the body when standing straight.
- The sides of the back and how noticeable the ribs are when bending forward.
Finding scoliosis early is very important for successful treatment. We use cutting-edge technology, like the EOS low-dose radiation scanner and Quantec, to help diagnose scoliosis. Children's Hospital was one of first two pediatric hospitals in the nation with an EOS scanner.
The goal of scoliosis treatment is to stop the curve from getting worse and prevent future problems.Treatment may include:
- A back brace.
- Scoliosis surgery.