Help for Kids and Teens Who Develop an Abnormal Curvature of the Spine

May 27, 2022

While children’s spines are naturally curved, some kids and teens will develop an abnormal curvature to their spine – typically S-shaped or C-shaped – known as scoliosis.

Symptoms of Scoliosis

This condition is often detected and diagnosed during a visit with your child’s pediatrician, however, the National Institutes of Health note that symptoms may include the following:

  • The tops of the shoulders appear uneven
  • One shoulder blade (in the upper back) is more prominent than the other
  • One hip appears higher than the other when bending forward

In more severe cases, scoliosis can lead to back pain and, in rare cases, affected children may even develop breathing problems.

Treating the Condition

If your child is diagnosed with scoliosis and the curve is small enough, it’s possible that no treatment, other than continued monitoring, will be needed. However, in more severe cases, the condition is likely to require monitoring and treatment. This can include everything from a brace to prevent the curve or curves from getting worse to spinal fusion surgery to straighten the spine and provide stability.

Treatment recommendations will likely be based upon the following:

  • The location and severity of the curve
  • If your child is experiencing symptoms related to scoliosis
  • If your child or teen is still growing

Get a Physician Referral

Need a referral to a pediatric specialist affiliated with South Texas Health System Children's? Call the South Texas Health System Reserve and Learn line at 800-879-1033.​

Providing Care for Children’s Bones, Muscles and Joints

For more than 15 years, families in the Rio Grande Valley have counted on South Texas Health System Children’s for quality, close-to-home care – including a wide range of orthopedic pediatric services.

We offer surgical and nonsurgical treatment of pediatric orthopedic conditions – such as scoliosis – as well as sports-related injuries involving the spine, shoulder, hand, ankle and knee.

Orthopedic surgeons here use advanced techniques and technology to diagnose and treat a wide variety of injuries and disorders involving joints, bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons. They tend to sprains, strains, dislocations and fractures and can recommend exercises and ways to prevent injuries.

It’s all part of South Texas Health System Children’s commitment to providing high-quality, compassionate care for the children of the Valley at a facility that has become a beloved part of the community.