Soirée Kids: Scoliosis in Children

Orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. David Bumpass gives the 411 on screenings, treatments and daily life with the most common spinal abnormality.

What is scoliosis?

DB: Scoliosis is the most common type of spinal deformity (abnormality). Scoliosis is when the spine is abnormally curved. There are several types of scoliosis found in children, the most common of which is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Up to 5% of the population has idiopathic scoliosis.


Who needs to be screened?

DB: Girls should be screened twice, at ages 10 and 12, and boys once, between ages 13-14. Screening should be performed by primary care providers and is also frequently done through school screenings. For moderate to severe cases, early detection and an appointment with a pediatric spine specialist is critical.


How is it treated? 

DB: Treatment for moderate curvatures of the spine is often bracing. For severe curvatures, surgery is the best option. Surgery typically results in a three-day hospital stay and a return to school within three weeks. Other types of scoliosis, such as the congenital and neuromuscular forms, require a specialized care team.


What is the outlook for kids with scoliosis? 

DB: Scoliosis can be a devastating disease if untreated; however, the current advances in both nonsurgical and surgical treatment are allowing children with scoliosis to lead fulfilling and active lives. Even patients treated with surgery can now return to many sports at a high level.

The Pediatric Spine Program at Arkansas Children’s offers the latest technology to treat the full spectrum of spinal conditions. Call for an appointment with one of our pediatric spine experts.

1 Children’s Way
Little Rock, AR 72202

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