Infantile Scoliosis Treatment and Management Options
Infantile scoliosis is a scoliotic condition in babies and infants (under three) born with a side-bending of the spine. If the scoliotic condition gets diagnosed at birth, there is a good chance that it will improve with proper attention at home and on an outpatient basis. However, it is crucial to understand that for cases that do not resolve by age three, it might progress into a more severe form of scoliosis. In our opinion, parents should seek care and advice from our clinical teams, as well as from orthopedic physicians who specialize in infantile scoliotic conditions.
Infantile scoliosis is more common for boys rather than girls. The reason why this type of scoliosis impacts boys more than it does girls is still unknown.
Proper scoliosis assessment is critical when it comes to scoliosis and perhaps even more imperative for infantile cases of scoliosis. Typically, MRI examinations and X-rays are utilized in assessments of infantile scoliosis. Researchers recommend MRI assessments for curves that are over 20 degrees to assess the potential of bone malformation. The spinal bone malformation is the most common cause of infantile scoliosis. Therefore, the need for accurate assessments is paramount.
What is the Best Treatment of Infants with Scoliosis?
Here, at the chiropractic specialty center, we do not offer for infants the same comprehensive array of scoliosis treatments that we offer for adult, adolescent, or juvenile scoliosis mainly because our methods require active participation, and infants are not capable of this. However, we might provide some limited treatment on a case-by-case basis combined with caregiver and parent education. The best advice we have for parents of infants who have scoliosis is to visit our center to see what our teams of physiotherapists and chiropractors can offer. Nonetheless, it is crucial for parents to get advice from orthopedic physicians with a specialty in infantile scoliosis. The best approach is to use a collaborative method of care involving your orthopedic physician together with our team for treating and managing infantile scoliosis.
Is Casting Good for Infants with Scoliosis?
Infants are unable to participate actively in therapy sessions. Therefore, casting might be necessary for infants with moderate scoliotic conditions. We only recommend casting in cases of moderate infantile scoliosis. EDF (elongation, derotation, and flexion) casting, which is also called Mehta casting, is an effective method of managing infantile scoliosis. However, a thorough assessment is necessary before casting is done. The most useful type of analysis to date has been the measurement of the rib vertebral angle difference (RVAD).
Rib-Vertebral Angle Difference (RVAD)
Maybe the best method for assessing infantile scoliosis is to measure the rib angles and compare them with their corresponding spinal segments.
For infantile scoliosis, the rib angle method of assessment is crucial since it is the best method for identifying scoliotic conditions that have the potential for progression. Our teams expert chiropractors and clinical physiotherapists use this approach for asserting if a given curve has the potential to progress or resolve. A 20-degree or less rib vertical angle difference in most cases is associated with a resolving or a non-progressive curve. We should be able to assist with a 20-degree or less rib angle. However, for an angle measuring over 20 degrees, we might recommend casting or the EDF methods. The noteworthy point here is that the only time we recommend bracing or casting is for infantile scoliotic conditions with a rib-angle measurement greater than 20 degrees.
Scoliosis Surgery for Infants
Another potential option for treating infantile scoliosis is the use of surgical procedures. Traditionally, this has involved several surgeries, conducted over a ten-year period or more as the spine of the child continues to grow. “Growing-rods” is the newest surgical procedure used these days. The approach reduces the need for repeat operations, often required with older rods or methods or surgery. However, this surgical technique is still quite new, and the long-term outlook is still not well understood. We recommend that you pose these concerns with your surgeons for further clarification.
The Scoliosis Research Society reports that infantile scoliosis surgery is still a challenging and lengthy therapy for children and has a high rate of complications associated with it. That is why we highly encourage that all alternative measures be exhausted first before choosing a surgical intervention. Hopefully, this article has provided you with the information you were looking for on scoliosis. If you have any further questions, please give our center a call with any questions or concerns you might have about infantile scoliosis. Visit the scoliosis types page to learn more about other types of scoliosis.