Evaluation and treatment services are offered by specially trained Physical Therapists. We approach spinal disorders on an individual basis, offering non-surgical treatment for patients with acute, sub-acute and chronic spinal disorders. The primary mission is to restore function and maximize potential within a realistic short-term treatment plan that includes an active, ongoing participation in a simultaneous home education component.
Congenital Spinal Deformities
There are many different causes of spinal deformities or abnormal spinal curves. Some children are born with improperly formed or incompletely developed vertebrae which can produce a curvature by causing the spine to grow unevenly. Other children may have nerve or muscle diseases, such as cerebral palsy or spina bifida, injuries, or other illnesses that cause spinal deformities. Many of these spinal deformities and conditions can be conservatively treated with exercises or braces. If a congenital curvature is progressive, it may require surgery. Our pediatric therapists have expertise in providing therapy for surgical and non-surgical treatment for all spinal disorders.
The normal spine can vary in size and shape, but it has 4 natural curves in the cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral regions. Scoliosis is a condition that causes a curvature of the spine. It can also cause the bones of the spine to rotate so that one shoulder or hip appears higher than the other.
Scoliosis can occur at any age.
Infantile scoliosis occurs in children less than 3 years old, and may result from a birth defect, disease of the nerves and muscles (such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy), infection or tumors.
Juvenile scoliosis occurs in children between the ages of 3 and 10 years.
Adolescent scoliosis occurs after the age of 10 years and is the most common type. Most adolescent scoliosis is "idiopathic," which means the causes are unknown.
Scoliosis General Information
Scoliosis affects a small percentage of the population, approximately 2 percent. If someone in a family has scoliosis, the incidence is much higher - approximately 20 %. If anyone in your family has curvature of the spine, you should be examined for scoliosis.
In more than 80% of the cases, a specific cause is not found and such cases are termed idiopathic, i.e., of undetermined cause. This is particularly so among the type of scoliosis seen in adolescent girls. Conditions known to cause spinal deformity are congenital spinal column abnormalities, neurological disorders, genetic conditions and a multitude of other causes. Scoliosis does not come from athletic involvement, sleeping/standing postures, or minor lower limb length inequality.
Tips for Parents
Idiopathic scoliosis can go unnoticed in a child because it is rarely painful in the formative years. Therefore, parents should watch for the following "tip-offs" to scoliosis beginning when their child is about 8 years of age:
- Uneven Shoulder
- Prominent Shoulder Blade(s)
- Uneven Waist
- Elevated Hip
- Leaning to One Side
Any one of these signs warrants an examination by the family physician, pediatrician or orthopedic surgeon. Some schools sponsor scoliosis screenings. Although only a physician can accurately diagnose scoliosis, school screenings can help alert parents to the presence of its warning signs in their child.
There are essentially three options for adolescents with scoliosis:
Observation, Back Braces, Scoliosis Surgery
In conjunction with your surgeon Our Orthotics & Prosthetics Services at Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital can fabricate a customized back brace for your child. Our Certified Orthotist, Lisa Cherry has 26 years experience working with both adult and pediatric patients. Lisa has experience in all style and types of bracing. Lisa has worked closely with Physicians and Physical Therapists in the clinical environment to ensure that the proper prescription is filled and that the brace is functional along with a proper fit. We also like to ensure that the turn around time is quick, usually within a two week period.
Following scoliosis surgery, patients can usually start to move around about 2 to 3 days after the surgery and when they start feeling better. The total hospital stay is usually about 3 to 6 days. Patients can usually return to school about 2 to 4 weeks after surgery, but their activity needs to be limited while the bone is fusing. It is best to have a trained Physical Therapist evaluate you postoperatively to help determine, in conjunction with your surgeon, a safe course for return to full activity.
Locations for Physical Therapy Intervention