Pediatric Early Onset Scoliosis

Pediatric Early Onset Scoliosis

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Summary

Early onset scoliosis is a spinal deformity that develops before age 10.

Expanded overview

When scoliosis develops before age 10, it is called early onset scoliosis. Scoliosis is defined by an abnormal curvature of the spine — where the spine is twisted or rotated to one side. In most cases, children diagnosed with early onset scoliosis have other health conditions, such as a spinal tumor or a neuromuscular disease.

Types

The four main types of early onset scoliosis are:

  • Congenital — The child is born with a twisted or rotated spine.
  • Idiopathic — Idiopathic scoliosis is when there is no known cause for scoliosis.
  • Neuromuscular — A child has a neuromuscular disease, such as cerebral palsy or spina bifida,  in conjunction with early onset scoliosis.
  • Syndromic — A child has a connective tissue disorder or another syndrome, such as Prader-Willi syndrome or bone dysplasia, in conjunction with early onset scoliosis.

Symptoms

In addition to having a coexisting condition, a child with early onset scoliosis may have symptoms that include:

  • Appearance of leaning to one side
  • One hip that sits higher than the other
  • Protruding shoulder blade on one side
  • Ribs appearing more prominent on one side
  • Weakness or numbness due to spinal cord compression (rarer) 

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