Infantile Scoliosis

The term “infantile scoliosis” is used for the situation when the condition occurs before 3 years old. Depending on age, the scoliosis may also be juvenile ( in children between 4-9 years old) or adolescent(between10-18 years old ).

In the majority of cases, scoliosis appears for no good reason.

When it has a cause this cause may be congenital functional or structural (the last 2 may be included sinsyndromic scoliosis ). VATER syndrome, VACTERL syndrome, Goldenhar syndrome, Wildervank syndrome, and Jarcho-Levin syndrome are responsible for congenital infantile scoliosis. Included in the congenital cause of the infantile scoliosis also are wedge vertebra or other defects of formation and segmentation problems.

The exact causes of infantile scoliosis are yet unknown but there are some possible factors like : mechanical reasons during the intrauterine life of the patient, collagen derangement, or an old mother coming from a poor family and a low weight at birth. Another important thing is the position in which the baby is nursed because this position is in strong relation with the first spine curves. The baby often tends to lay on the right side and the spine will curve on the left side.

Infantile scoliosis is general diagnose in the first year of life. If a child is diagnosed with this condition some test will follow like radiology in order to assess the exact situation.

It is not easy to decide whether to operate or not a patient diagnosed with infantile scoliosis. The decision depends on : the degree of the curve, the progression of the curve, the cosmetic appearance of the spine and the way that this appearance harms the life of the patient. After the operation the patient will have to use a prosthesis for a period of time (when the child is still growing). There are some risks that come along with the operation, risks related with the anesthesia or other types of allergic reaction may appear.

There are other alternative methods like massage, medical gymnastics (for simple scoliosis, the work will be asymmetric) and electrotherapy.

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