What organ systems are affected by Early-Onset Scoliosis (EOS)?

Scoliosis, at any age, causes distortion of the body from the neck to the waistline.  Though on the x-rays (or radiographs) that are obtained to evaluate for scoliosis the spine only appears to curve in a lateral direction, however it actually has become deformed in three dimensions (front, side and axial).  The front view is […]

Chiropractic treatment in scoliosis

If one searches the web for information on chiropractic care and scoliosis, the American Chiropractic (ACA) Association would be a logical place.  According to the ACA, “chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic services are used […]

Spine Bracing in Early-Onset Scoliosis (EOS)

Bracing in EOS is a commonly utilized nonsurgical intervention.  Braces are constructed of either rigid or semi-rigid plastic, and are designed on an individual basis. The orthotist (the person who makes the brace) analyzes each patients’ anatomy and radiographic deformity, then constructs the brace. The brace is contoured to place pressure points on the ribs […]

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) FAQ’s

Surgical treatment of scoliosis in adolescents, in 2016, is most commonly a posterior spinal fusion with instrumentation (PSF/PSSI).  Though this blog is, in general, dedicated to the “growing spine” this entry will focus on adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) and the many questions that are asked by parents/caregivers about PSF/PSSI.   Top Frequently Asked Questions about […]

Spine Casting of Early-Onset Scoliosis

Spinal casting is a time-tested intervention which was first described, in modern literature, by Cotrel and Morel in 1964. At that time there were no other effective means to correct spinal deformities and maintain the improvement, since spine instrumentation as we now know it was not yet created. In 1963 Dr. Harrington developed the first effective, […]

The Spectrum of Treatment Options for Early-Onset Scoliosis

There are many treatment options in early-onset scoliosis (EOS), but all can be lumped into 2 broad groups: nonsurgical and surgical.  The nonsurgical options include: observation, physical therapy, bracing, and casting. Surgical options include: traditional growing rods, MAGEC growing rods, vertebral body stapling, vertebral body tether, Shilla growth guidance procedure and fusions (bilateral and unilateral) […]

Back Pain in the Young Athlete

Why does my back hurt? Back pain in the young athlete is very common. It has been reported that up to 75% of adolescents will experience back pain by the time they reach 18 years of age.  As more youth sporting activities are performed year-round, there is a greater risk of sports-specific repetitive activities over-loading […]

What is Spondylolysis or a Pars Fracture?

If you break the word spondylolysis down to its Latin roots and then translate to English you get spondylo- which means “vertebra” and lysis which means “crack or break”.  So spondylolysis is when there is a crack in the posterior, or back part, of the bony arch of a vertebra at the pars region (see […]

Scoliosis in Sports

Scoliosis is a spine deformity in the side-to-side (or lateral) plane of more than 10 degrees of angulation.  The majority of the time this occurs spontaneously during the pubertal growth spurt in an individual with normal spine development, up until that time.  Currently this type of scoliosis is called “idiopathic”, meaning there is no known […]

Treatment Decision-making: Age and Magnitude

When posed with a pediatric spinal deformity in their child, parents/caregivers must decide on the optimal treatment for their child.  This can be a daunting task because each patient is unique and there are often multiple treatment possibilities.  In addition, the perspectives and beliefs of the parents/caregivers about their child and their particular problem are […]

How do I find a physician for my child with spinal deformity?

When looking for a physician to care for pediatric spinal deformity it is recommended to seek out providers who are member of the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA).  The SRS is an organization which requires its member surgeons to have the care of spinal deformity occupy a […]

The Internet Medical Jungle

Over the last 20 years the development of the internet and digital medical records has changed medicine dramatically.  For physicians, the rapid access and exchange, of important information about patients has enabled the delivery of faster medical care than ever before.  For patients and parents/caregivers, there is an ever-growing amount information which is accessible, about […]

Welcome to the Growing Spine Blog!

The aim of this blog is to provide parents and caregivers with clear, concise information on the problems, issues and treatment of pediatric and adolescent spine deformity topics.  We will try to demystify and focus our postings around spine deformity topics (scoliosis, kyphosis, spondylolysis, spondylolisthesis, etc…), in the cervical-thoracic-lumbosacral spine, in patients 0-21 years of […]