Pre-Adolescent Scoliosis Control Enhances Treatment Prospects in Children
14 September 2023, Thursday - 23:38
Updated: 22 September 2023, Friday - 23:38
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Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hüseyin Sina Coşkun, a faculty member in the Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology at Ondokuz Mayıs University (OMU) Faculty of Medicine, has emphasized the significance of pre-adolescent scoliosis (spinal curvature) control in improving treatment prospects for children.

Dr. Coşkun stated that spinal curvature exceeding 10 degrees in the front and rear planes of the spine is considered scoliosis. He underlined the need to differentiate scoliosis from postural abnormalities, highlighting that posture issues can often be rectified through simple exercises, whereas scoliosis signifies a structural deformation in the spine.

Dr. Coşkun pointed out that scoliosis is typically observed in the age range of 10-19 years. He elaborated, "Scoliosis is a condition of unknown origin. Adolescents constitute the most common age group affected by idiopathic scoliosis. Common complaints include uneven shoulders, one shoulder appearing higher than the other, and, when the patient leans forward, the presence of a visible elevation or hump on one side of the back. The prominence of this elevation on one side and its diminishment on the other is one of the key indicators of scoliosis."

"For curvatures exceeding 45 degrees, we predict that the curvature will progress each year and thus opt for surgical intervention"

Dr. Coşkun explained that treatment for scoliosis is possible and typically involves three accepted approaches. He stated, "One of the treatments for scoliosis is observation therapy, which is essentially a form of treatment. We generally refrain from intervening in curvatures between 0 to 20 degrees. We monitor the development of these children and conclude the treatment when they reach adulthood. By this point, these children are no longer at risk for disease progression. For curvatures between 20 to 40 degrees or up to 45 degrees, we employ brace treatment if the child is at an appropriate age. Brace treatment is suitable as long as the child's growth is ongoing. Once bone growth is complete, brace treatment is no longer necessary. For curvatures exceeding 45 degrees, we predict that the curvature will progress each year and thus opt for surgical intervention."

Dr. Coşkun noted that their surgical interventions have yielded successful outcomes, with patients gaining a few centimeters in height after surgery.

"Swimming does not directly alleviate scoliosis curvature"

Discrediting the notion that swimming is beneficial for scoliosis, Dr. Coşkun explained, "It has been widely believed for years that swimming is beneficial for scoliosis. We, too, held this belief. However, recent studies show that swimming does not directly affect reducing scoliosis curvature. Some publications even suggest that it may exacerbate the condition. Nevertheless, this is a matter that requires further investigation. In any case, swimming is an excellent sport for overall physical health. It engages all muscle groups. Unfortunately, it does not have a direct impact on scoliosis."

Dr. Coşkun highlighted that scoliosis is more commonly observed in girls and recommended preventive measures, much like in developmental hip dysplasia. He stressed the importance of pre-adolescent spine X-rays for girls, especially during the premenstrual period, and for boys, one spine X-ray before adolescence. Initiating treatment for potential scoliosis at an early stage is crucial, as early intervention leads to more favorable outcomes. 

Dr. Coşkun added that during the pandemic, due to disruptions in regular check-ups, there has been a slight increase in the number of scoliosis patients.

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