Conditions + Treatments

Scoliosis in Children

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Contact the Spinal Program

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If your child has been diagnosed with scoliosis may have questions about her treatment. The caregivers in the Boston Children’s Hospital Spinal Program have treated many children with scoliosis and spinal conditions — some of which are so rare that few pediatric doctors have come across them — and we can offer you expert diagnosis, treatment and care.

Our Spinal Program team has developed innovative treatments for scoliosis, including the Boston Brace — the most widely used scoliosis brace — and participated in the landmark Bracing in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Trial (BrAIST). And because our research informs our treatment, we’re known for our science-driven, experience-based approach.

We will approach your child’s care with sensitivity and support — for your child and your whole family. Most children with scoliosis grow up to lead healthy, active lives.

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine — in addition to the normal front to back curvature — has an abnormal side-to-side “S”- or “C”-shaped curvature. The spine is also rotated or twisted, pulling the ribs along with it to form a multidimensional curve.

What are the different types of scoliosis?

Scoliosis is diagnosed and treated as one of three main types:

Idiopathic scoliosis

Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common form, with no definite cause, mainly affecting adolescent girls, but existing in three age groups:

•   adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
•   juvenile idiopathic scoliosis
•   infantile (early-onset) idiopathic scoliosis

Neuromuscular scoliosis

Neuromuscular scoliosis is associated with a neuromuscular condition such as cerebral palsy, myopathy or spina bifida.

Congenital scoliosis

Present at birth, congenital scoliosis is caused by a failure of the vertebrae to form normally—the least common form.

Download our scoliosis guide

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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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