10 June 2020
Signs That You Have Early Onset Symptoms of Scoliosis
Symptoms are often subtle during the early stages, which can make them easy to dismiss. In children, developing scoliosis often goes unnoticed until they reach adolescence and enter a rapid growth phase. In adults, it can be even harder to spot. Conditions remain undetected in the majority of adult back-pain patients with scoliosis, particularly when the spinal curvature was mild. Even patients with moderate to severe curvature went undiagnosed more often than not.
Knowing what to look for can make you more alert to the slight changes that can signal an abnormal curve in the spine. Catching the defect in its early stages provides more time to correct the problem before it becomes severe. Keep in mind, however, that scoliosis is a complex condition that should only be diagnosed by a scoliosis clinic in Singapore.
What is early-onset scoliosis?
Early-onset scoliosis is a rare spinal curvature that requires special knowledge and experience for doctors to solve its complex issues. There are three types of early-onset scoliosis based on age and type of curve. They are the following:
1. Infantile Idiopathic Scoliosis occurs before the age of 3 and is seen more often in boys than girls. Most cases resolve spontaneously but some may progress to more severe.
2. Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis is defined as scoliosis occurring at the ages of 3-9. This condition affects more girls than boys. These curves are generally at high risk for progression to a more severe form.
3. Congenital Scoliosis occurs in a fetus when bony portions of the spine fail to form properly or segments fuse together. While most cases of scoliosis are considered “idiopathic” and occur in childhood without clear causes, a small number of children develop a spinal curvature before birth. The spinal defects can be minor and involve only one segment of the vertebral column, or the condition can involve nearly every level and result in a more severe deformity.
The most common early signs of scoliosis are changes in posture due to over-curving of the spine, such as:
- Uneven shoulders, with one shoulder blade sticking out more than the other
- A “hump” caused by the ribs sticking out more on one side than the other
- Uneven waist or hip
- Tilting to one side while standing up straight
- Sometimes early-onset scoliosis is first noticed when a doctor orders a chest x-ray for a child with pneumonia or another respiratory virus.
Doctors and school nurses commonly check for signs of scoliosis in children starting at age 10. However, this screening would not catch early-onset scoliosis. But it may identify children with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, which occurs between age 10 and 18.
The cause of infantile scoliosis is unknown, however, early-onset scoliosis is often associated with congenital chest wall deformities, neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral palsy, myelomeningocele or muscle disease, or spinal pathologies such as tumours.
Scoliosis surgery in Singapore includes performing a close observation, careful neurological exam, spinal MRI, and a series of X-rays to review if other structural problems exist. Other associated problems may dictate further examinations or consultations such as cardiac, pulmonary, or renal function testing. Treatment for the different types of early-onset scoliosis may include observation, physical therapy, bracing, casting, and surgery.
In need of a surgical treatment for Scoliosis? Schedule an appointment with us and let our doctors help you as early as now. Check out more on our website today.