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Old 10-06-2009, 09:07 PM   #1
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Son has just been diagnosed with scoliosis...worried

I noticed a long strip on the bottom of my sons spine weeks back that looked like brown bruising...when it didn't change i took him to the dr who did xrays and it was obvious and he said likely he had scoliosis it was just a matter of how severe. We took the xrays into him today and the dr said it was a 9,10 but is sending his xrays to a specialist to confirm....he said that they are really backed up and only take severe cases (the specialist)!! does anyone know what this # means? also if this light brown bruising is a result of it and if his outcome is bleak? his leg also measured a half inch shorter than the other leg, i am really concerned...this runs in my family.anything we can do at home to help this at all?

 
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:43 PM   #2
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Re: Son has just been diagnosed with scoliosis...worried

Scoliosis is defined as a lateral curvature of the spine, the presence of which is abnormal. We know that as early as 500 years BC Hippocrates was writing about it, and its name is derived from the Greek word for curvature. It can be disfiguring because when the spine bends to the side, the vertebrae (the individual bones that make up the spine) become twisted and pull the ribs round with them, which sometimes form a "bulge" on the back and cause the shoulder blade to stick out.

The causes of scoliosis are many, and although we well understand the consequences, the origins of this condition remain complex and obscure. There are two main types of scoliosis—namely, idiopathic (no known cause) and syndromic (the curvature is part of a recognised disease pattern, such as Marfan's syndrome). Idiopathic scoliosis accounts for most spinal curvatures and they may either be of early onset, before age seven years, or late onset, after that age and usually in adolescence. There is a definite genetic connection, with around 25% of those with a scoliosis have a direct relative with a curvature. 80% of adolescence idiopathic scoliosis arises in girls, and 80% of these girls have their rib prominence on the right side.

The spine can bend towards either side of the body at any place, in the chest area (thoracic scoliosis), in the lower part of the back (lumbar), or above and below these areas (thoracolumbar). It can even bend twice, causing an S-shaped curve. When the curve is S-shaped (double curvature) it is often not noticeable and the person can appear quite straight because the two curves counteract each other. If the curve is low down in the spine, the ribs will not be affected but one hip may be higher than the other.

Scoliosis is, surprisingly, quite common. About three or four children per thousand of the general population will need specialist supervision, and about one child in every thousand will need hospital treatment usually for major corrective surgery with the insertion of a (permanent) metal rod, sometimes followed by a period in a plaster jacket or brace. Scoliosis can develop at any time during childhood and adolescence. It might develop in infancy, in which case there is a good chance of it resolving with growth. Progressive (worsening) early onset curvatures are potentially serious, and some of these may need surgical treatment. Late onset scoliosis is less serious, but some will need surgery and all need to be seen by a scoliosis specialist who can keep an eye on the situation and give some idea about the future. Severe deformity, which is uncommon nowadays because of modern treatment, can lead to damaged lung function, or disability in middle age. The lungs are usually affected only in people with untreated early onset thoracic scoliosis, when the upper (chest) part of the spine is curved.

A developmental disorder, scoliosis is rarely present at birth. It can develop in infancy or early childhood and it is sometimes caused by rare childhood disorders. However, it is most common in early teenage years, when—especially at the start of the adolescent growth spurt—it can progress rapidly. Treatment at this age is usually corrective surgery. The psychological trauma some teenagers experience can have serious and long lasting effects.

There is contradictory evidence as to whether early discovery and treatment of a curve improves the long-term outcome, but we know that if curves are discovered too late—when they are already severe—the results of surgery can be compromised. Therefore, awareness of scoliosis and what it can mean for an individual among General Practitioners and physical education teachers in schools is regarded as important, so that early referral to a specialist in scoliosis is achieved. Treatment in a scoliosis centre will usually prevent unsatisfactory long-term results.

Scoliosis has been recorded since the days of the ancient Greeks, but its cause is still unknown. Orthopaedic surgeons specialising in scoliosis and scientists in many countries continue to research the cause, or causes, of the condition.
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:33 AM   #3
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Re: Son has just been diagnosed with scoliosis...worried

i really do think before anything else gets done here that he most definitely NEEDS an MRI with a contrasting agent done first. just exactly how does that colorized 'strip" run, along the length of his spine/up and down or more crosswise/horizontal? how large is it? what did the doc say about THAT particular symptoms being there at all? in most cases, or 'usually", when you see that particular color under the skin it has more to do with some type of an internal type of bleeding vs an actual 'bruise' that changes color from blue/red and then the brown/ruddy red then yellow then fades away type thing? just how old is your son?

just how long has he actually had that strip and has it changed at all in any way shape of form? this is just a very 'odd' type of symptom that i have never heard of when associating all the possible symptoms of spinal problems when they are 'just' vertebral alone, like the scoliosis would be? i am just wondering about possible ruptured vessels of some level there(which would keep 'feeding" that strip kind of thing?), thus the very real need for that contrasted type of MRI which would show it if it was occuring. you just do not see down far at all upon plain old x ray. you need to see 'into" that spinal area itself with at least an MRI with contrast being done, just to clarify a few things and see others. he IS going to defintiely be needing that MRI done at some point, it might as well be now and while you are in that stupid 'wait' mode too. what really just needs to be defined more now vs later is what is causing that reddish type of colorization there and keeping it there. i would just start pushing whoever you have to to obtain that MRI right now. his own primary doc can order this for him with no problem. just make certain it is with and without contrast being used. they do one set of films without it then another using it to better compare and better highlight certain areas, espescially vessels, which is what needs to be kind of really looked at right now? i do hope this is not something severe for him or you to have to deal with. please keep us posted. marcia
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:41 PM   #4
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Re: Son has just been diagnosed with scoliosis...worried

Hello,
I'm not a scoliosis expert, but I do have a slight case and have had it since childhood - I'm now 43. Because it was not severe, it did not require surgery. I have not had any serious issues due to it, but I also have one leg longer than the other - there are times when it's not noticable and other times it is. I also have one side of my back slightly higher than the other and is only noticable when I bend over from my waist.

I agree with feelabad, he needs and MRI to see the full impact and size. Please don't get too anxious yet, it may not be as severe as you think. Best wishes.
Robin

 
Old 10-10-2009, 07:41 PM   #5
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Re: Son has just been diagnosed with scoliosis...worried

I am 22 years old and have had scoliosis my whole life. The doctors had no idea what it was and did a lot of tests on myself. I also have 4-1/2 vertebrae's missing. Two halves missing in the thoracic and lumbar region and then two halves missing in the lower cervical region. I have not had surgery because when I was younger they only wanted to take the halves out, but I told them no way. I have not been back to the doctors to get checked out because I have not had severely bad problems with my back. I have grown to the back pain and dealt with what was going on. The two halve vertebrae's in the lower cervical region are putting pressure against a nerve in my neck causing me to have migraines sense I was an infant. when I was an infant it was unheard of for infants to have them, so doctors didn't think it was migraines. All Scoliosis are different you just have to be strong and get through it.

 
Old 05-13-2010, 07:16 AM   #6
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Re: Son has just been diagnosed with scoliosis...worried

I have scoliosis and wore a brace but I also did a lot of swimming and ballet which I believe helped me. Maybe enroll him in swimming and yoga, I bet this will help. Look into a back brace too, don't let doctors brush you off, ask lots of questions. Don't worry it's manageable.

 
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