Your child has a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your child's doctor about the personal risk factors and/or experience with scoliosis. By talking openly and regularly with the doctor, you can take an active role in your child's care.
General Tips for Gathering Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your child's doctor:
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- Does my child have any spinal curvature?
- If so, what degree is the curvature?
- Is there any way to tell whether the scoliosis has resulted in any other complications?
- Is the cause of my child's scoliosis unknown, or might it be due to some other medical condition?
About Your Child's Risk of Developing Scoliosis:
- What is the chance that my child might develop scoliosis?
- Should my other children be screened for scoliosis?
- Is there any new information about ways to decrease the risk of developing scoliosis?
About Treatment Options:
- Can my child be monitored instead of wearing a brace or cast?
- How frequently will monitoring occur?
- Will a brace cast be necessary?
- If a brace is necessary, how long will it have to be worn each day?
- How many years will a brace or cast be required?
- Might surgery be necessary?
- How will we know if surgery is necessary?
About Lifestyle Changes:
- Are there any activities my child cannot participate in?
- Is there any new information about any kinds of exercise or other lifestyle changes that might be beneficial?
- Could my child's scoliosis lead to any kind of disability?
- How likely is it that my child's degree of scoliosis will progress?
- Is there anything I can do to slow or halt the progression of my child's scoliosis?
- Are there other things that my child's scoliosis can be associated with?
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:
http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116647/Adolescent-idiopathic-scoliosis. Updated March 18, 2017. Accessed May 16, 2017.
Congenital scoliosis and kyphosis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:
http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T908760. Updated January 19, 2016. Accessed May 16, 2017.
Idiopathic scoliosis in children and adolescents. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at:
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00353. Updated March 2015. Accessed May 16, 2017.
Infantile and juvenile idiopathic scoliosis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:
http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T908759. Updated July 13, 2016. Accessed May 16, 2017.
Questions and answers about scoliosis in children and adolescents. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at:
http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Scoliosis/default.asp. Updated December 2015. Accessed May 16, 2017.
Tips for talking to your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/healthcare-management/working-with-your-doctor/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor.html. Updated May 2014. Accessed December 23, 2015.
What is scoliosis? Fast Facts: An Easy-to-Read Series of Publications for the Public. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at:
http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Scoliosis/scoliosis_ff.asp. Updated November 2014. Accessed May 16, 2017.
Last reviewed May 2017 by Michael Woods, MD FAAP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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