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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest treatment for mild scoliosis in a teenager

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Dr. Karl Logan

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 705 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 20 Oct 2015 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: My 15 year old grandson has developed poor posture (rounded shoulders) during the past year. His recent back x ray reflects "mild scoliosis" with no recommended action by the family practice physician except a repeat x ray in one year. This is unacceptable to me and to him. Should I insist on a referral to an orthopedist for further evaluation, or will a back brace, physical therapy, or some other course of action benefit him now before the condition deteriorates? I am willing to do everything in my power to help him with this problem, including drastic measures.
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Answered by Dr. Karl Logan 56 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Scoliosis discussed

Detailed Answer:
hi, thanks for your question,

I am sorry your grandson has been diagnosed with scoliosis, this is a very worrying diagnosis for young people and their families.

at 15 years of age your grandson is likely almost skeletally mature and therefore bracing for his spinal curve is not indicated.

the good news though is that at skeletally maturity the curvature in his spine is unlikely to progress therefore if his spinal curvature is mild it is likely to stay mild.

surgery is not generally required unless the angle of the curve is beyond 50 degrees as curves of this magnitude or less do not tend to progress as an adult.

poor posture and mechanical
back pain is very common in adolescents. back pain affects around 50% of children this age. physiotherapy in particular core strengthening can be of benefit in improving posture and back pain.

I hope this answers your question.

best wishes
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Neel Kudchadkar
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