Can babies have scoliosis? Yes, it is possible for your baby to have scoliosis. Infantile or early- onset scoliosis can be diagnosed any time between birth and five years of age. It is an abnormal side to side curve of the spine, affecting more boys than girls.
What causes scoliosis in babies? There are many causes of infantile scoliosis. There are congenital neuromuscular conditions that can affect a baby’s spine. Some of these neuromuscular and other causes are:
- Myopathy, which is a muscular disease where the muscle fibers do not function, causing muscular weakness.
- Cerebral Palsy is actually a group of movement disorders that permanently affect the child’s physical, developmental abilities to roll over, sit, crawl, and delayed walking.
- Spina bifida is a birth defect that involves the incomplete development of the backbone (spine) spinal cord or its coverings. The spinal cord and branching nerves may be damaged.
- Congenital chest wall deformities such as Pigeon chest which got its name from the similarity of child’s chest looking like a bird’s breast. This can be treated along with scoliosis, to improve breath and heart function, in more extensive cases.
These congenital conditions can cause the development of infantile or early-onset scoliosis. In most cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown. This is called idiopathic scoliosis.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CONGENITAL (EARLY ONSET SCOLIOSIS), IDIOPATHIC SCOLIOSIS?
Great question! In infants and toddlers, you will notice weak or lax muscles. There will be delays in large motor skill development such as sitting up, rolling from back to the front and vice versa. The ability to crawl and then walk will also be delayed. The infant’s head position will not be centered with the rest of the body.
HOW IS EARLY-ONSET SCOLIOSIS DIAGNOSED?
It is most important to be diagnosed early so that the best long-term results will occur in response to successful treatment, as well as ongoing evaluation by our team of experts.
Our team will review your child’s medical history. We may determine it is valuable to your child’s health to perform needed tests to see if there are any problems with the bones.
- We will measure the degree of curve in your child’s spine.
- X-rays are the primary test for early onset scoliosis. They are used to figure out the exact angles of the curve.
- Several other types of X-rays may be done to provide more information.
TREATMENT OF EARLY-ONSET SCOLIOSIS
Monitoring your child as he or she grows is key in determining the need for further treatment. Every child is unique, so many children with scoliosis will not notice any pain or discomfort and will live as if they do not have it.
If additional treatment is necessary, in the event curvature of the spine worsens, a brace will likely prevent any additional curvature.
Improvements in the past decade have improved treatment methods and outcomes. Some children treated early will likely improve after treatment and have no further problems. Others may continue to experience discomfort and continued spinal curvature. Some children may improve with minimally invasive spinal surgery. There will always be a few who may need treatment into adulthood.