ZocdocAnswersDoes my son have scoliosis?

Question

Does my son have scoliosis?

My son is only 6 years old but I think that his back might be shaped wrong. It just seems like it is curved inward too much. Is this scoliosis? Are there other disorders that cause a child's spine to curve like this?

Answer

Scoliosis can cause significant deformity of the spine, and it is important to catch it early so that preventive measures can be taken to prevent permanent disability in affected children. However, scoliosis is most often identified in children a bit older than your son, as most screening for the condition is done in pre-teens or teens. In your case, the best thing to do is make sure that your son sees his pediatrician right away. You can discuss your concerns with his physician, and most importantly the doctor can examine your son to identify anything that might need further attention. There are several conditions that can affect a child's growth and skeletal stability. Many of these conditions are genetic, and it is likely that your son would have already been diagnosed. Vitamin deficiencies can also affect skeletal growth--your pediatrician may want to get a better sense of how much and what kinds of foods your son has been eating. If your pediatrician does have any concerns, he or she can order additional imaging tests to examine the bones of your son's back. Depending upon the results of the exam, a referral to a specialist may be helpful. However, the first step is a good history and exam with your doctor. Good luck!

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