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  • Daughter - 10 yrs old - just diagnosed with scoliosis

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    Old 08-11-2006, 04:11 PM   #1
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    Daughter - 10 yrs old - just diagnosed with scoliosis

    Does anyone know anything or have had experience with a young child who is still growing, having this condition?

    The degree of angle is 18 degrees...

    I guess we will need to see an orthopedic surgeon - but wanted to know if she will need treatment ie... brace.

    Thanks for anything you can offer...

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    Old 08-11-2006, 05:37 PM   #2
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    Re: Daughter - 10 yrs old - just diagnosed with scoliosis

    Hey Wimzie,
    My daughter was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 14. Her curve is pretty mild; we saw a specialist and watched it for a while, but she stayed steady and we never had to do anything for it. My son, her younger brother, was diagnosed also at age 14, but his did progress rather quickly. When he was first diagnosed, it was barely noticeable, but when I was walking behind him back from the pool one day, I could tell that it had gotten suddenly much worse. His pediatric orthopedist put him into a brace at that point. It's hard plastic and he was told to wear it 12-14 hours a day. He had no trouble sleeping in it from day one, and since he's homeschooled, it was no big deal to get his hours in without having to wear it out of the house. Kids who aren't homeschooled are usually able to sleep in it and then take it off long enough to go to school, then put it back on when they get home. We know a couple of other kids who went through the brace thing, too. All three braces were different. Only one of them ended up with surgery. She had beautiful correction and no problems ever since. The brace is a bit of a nuisance, but not really that bad. Of course, you want to avoid surgery if you can, but kids really bounce back from it. If you get to that point, do lots of reading on this board and on the web sites people have recommended in the stickies at the top of the page. You'll have lots of support, tips, and answers to your questions.

    My son is now 17. His curve continued to worsen for a while, but it seems like he's about done growing (and at 6' 6" I should hope so!) so they don't think it will get any worse now. His curve is now at about 32 degrees. They don't usually talk about surgery until 40 degrees. He's wearing the brace for another six months at night just to be sure. We think we're out of the woods with him.

    Neither of my kids with scoliosis has pain to speak of. My daughter complains every now and then, but it seems mostly to be an excuse not to vacuum! I have a great deal of pain, but my scoli was ignored for several years. I had asked my parents when I was a teenager to take me to a doctor because my back hurt so much, but they said no. Bottom line: don't ignore it, see a specialist, but don't panic. Lots of people have scolisis and never have any problems with it. Even if she reaches the point of needing surgery, it's much easier these days. You no longer have to spend 3 months flat on your back, and they have much greater success with correction. Most kids who have a fusion are able to do almost everything they did before their surgery.

    I know you're worrying, though. This is your child! You, if you're like me, hurt for her. You don't want her to have to go through any of this. But we can't protect our kids from everything. She can grow so much by going through difficult things; not that we want difficult things for our kids, but we can help our kids see positive things through them and become better people because of them. Hopefully, your daughter's curve won't get worse, but since you've caught it early, she can certainly get the best possible treatment. She'll be okay, and so will you!

    You're not alone! Good luck, and stay in touch via the board. There are lots of people here who've "been there" and are ready to help when you need it.


    Old 08-21-2006, 01:46 PM   #3
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    Re: Daughter - 10 yrs old - just diagnosed with scoliosis

    I dont know if I can be much help to you. But when I was 13.. now I am 17.. I was diagnosed with scoliosis. I dont know exactly what it started out to be, but I want to say 15 degrees and has progressed. I did have a brace when it was first found, and had to wear it at night. But I never did because I couldnt sleep. They are very uncomfortable. I am done growing now but it is still progressing and I am at 52 degrees and will be having surgery on Sept. 18th. The doctor did tell me that it didnt progress because I didnt wear my brace, most of the time they have little impact, So not to blame it on that. If you have any questions about it I can try to help if you would like. Let me know

    Last edited by HBMod07; 08-21-2006 at 02:22 PM.

    Old 08-21-2006, 03:45 PM   #4
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    Re: Daughter - 10 yrs old - just diagnosed with scoliosis


    My daughter's pediatrician caught her scoliosis during a routine physical for ninth grade. Surprisingly, we were already going to a pediatric orthopaedist for her other back problem, but I don't think scoliosis was ever checked for. She was just released and allowed to play tennis and the dr giving the sports physical caught the scoly also. Her ortho will recheck it again in Feb. She is done growing so I'm hoping her curve is done progressing.

    Her curve is mild, under 20 degrees. He has not treated her for scoliosis yet, because it is so mild. He told me that they normally don't brace until at least 30 degrees (if I remember correctly). She did wear the hard tlso brace to try to help her spondylolisthesis for three months. She did really hate it, but she made it through. She had to wear it during all of her waking hours and only take it off for night, again this was not for scoliosis. She found if she wore sweats and baggy t-shirts she could get by without anyone evening knowing that she had it on. It was funny, but her teachers noticed the day the brace came off because she wore a really cute skirt outfit to school.

    If your child's curve progresses past the point of needing fusion, don't fret. I paniced when I was told my daughter needed fusion for her spondy. I even cancelled her first appt so he could try bracing before surgery. I sought two other opinioins from pediatric orthos, but finally realized surgery was what she needed. Well, she only had two levels fused and is 14 months post fusiion. Her dr just released her to play tennis on her high school team last week. She is acting like a kid again.

    As Emily said, it's hard not to worry. The decisions I had to make for my daughter's spondy surgery was the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life, that was my baby that was hurting. Read up on her condition. Make yourself somewhat of an expert so that when you go to the dr you will understand what he's telling you and know the questions to ask. I always type out my questions so that I won't forget to ask something.

    Please, when you go to the dr, find a pediatric orthopaedist. It was once explained to me that the growing child is different than an adult so you need a pediatric orthopaedist. Our ortho dr has a fellowship in pediatrics with a specialty in scoliosis. Best of luck to you. cas

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