1) Does my child have idiopathic or congenital scoliosis?
Malformations of the vertebrae will be evident to the surgeon just by
looking at the x-ray.A pediatric neurosurgeon will rule out neurological
anomalies from the MRI i.e., tethered cord, Chiari malformations, etc.
2) What is the degree of curvature/Cobb angle?Is this considered mild, moderate, or severe scoliosis?
3) Where is the curve located?
Cervical (neck)/Thoracic (ribs)/Thoracolumbar (ribs and lower back)/Lumbar (lower back)? The ortho should be able tell you the specific vertebrae involved.
4) What is the shape of the curve?
C (single curve) or S (also called double major curve)
5) What is the RVAD?
RVAD stands for Rib Vertebrae Angle Degree
6) What is the degree or stage of spinal rotation?
7) Is my child's curve flexible?
8) What are your views on bracing or serial plaster casting?
9) What are your views on performing surgery on a young child?
This question is important because it will give you an idea where your doctor stands on treatment - whether he/she is pro-bracing or pro-surgery.Curves treated early have the best response to bracing.Don't let your doctor tell you to just wait and watch if the curve is 20 degrees or more.Once a curve progresses beyond 45 degrees it becomes very difficult to control with a brace.
10) How often will my child be x-rayed?Is it necessary to get a lateral x-ray at every visit?
Some people think that lateral x-rays are not that important and just add to the radiation load that accumulates over time.Ask if there are alternative ways to assess scoliosis.
11) How often will my child be seen for follow up?
12) Where do I obtain a copy of my child's x-ray?
It is very important to get copies of x-rays at each clinic visit in order to track your child's progress or improvement. It will give you a sense of control of where things stand and what needs to be done to help your child.
Correcting Scoliosis during the AIS
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