Pediatric Spinal Deformity
Spinal deformities in children are far more common than most people are aware. Conditions like scoliosis, kyphosis and spondylolisthesis can appear in children as early in the newborn stage. Scoliosis and kyphosis involve an abnormal curvature of the spine. Spondylolisthesis refers to a displaced vertebra.
Identifying Spinal Issues in Children
As stated, issues like scoliosis and kyphosis appear as an abnormal curvature of the spine, and can usually be identified during routine examination. Issues like displaced vertebra will often require X-Rays and MRI’s as they are less identifiable. And in certain cases, patients, young and old, may not be in any pain.
In very young children it may difficult to tell what their symptoms are as communication is lacking in early life, however the most common symptoms associated with pediatric spine issues are:
- Back pain, especially in the lower back.
- Difficulty walking, often children will walk with a “waddle”, in order to alleviate back tension.
- The presence of a “humpback”, or unusual curvature in the spine.
- In certain cases, children can even experience a displaced vertebra without the presence of pain, therefore testing and medical consultation is extremely important from a young age.
Spinal deformities are best mitigated as early as possible, as children’s bones and spine are growing so fast. Certain moderate spinal deformities can be treated using physical therapy or a brace. However, for severe deformities surgery will be required.
Dr. Widmann is one of the most experienced pediatric spine surgeons around today. As Chief of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery, he has overseen a number of different spine surgeries and his experience allows him a unique perspective when it comes to identifying the best course of treatment. If your child is suffering through any spinal issues, be sure to contact Dr. Widmann today.