Conditions + Treatments

Scoliosis in Children

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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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