Non-Surgical Treatment Options to Manage Infantile Scoliosis

Infantile scoliosis, also known as EOS (Early Onset Scoliosis), a rare condition affecting the spine in children under three, presents a unique challenge. While the cause remains unknown, early detection is critical to achieving the best possible outcome. 

This blog covers non-surgical treatment options for infantile scoliosis, empowering you with information on managing this condition without surgery if that’s the path recommended by your child’s specialist.

What is Infantile scoliosis?

Infantile scoliosis is a rare condition affecting the spine in children under 3 years old. It causes the spine to curve abnormally to the side, creating a shape like a letter “C” or “S” instead of a straight line. The exact cause is unknown, and doctors classify it as a type of idiopathic scoliosis.

Early Detection and Monitoring

If your child leans consistently to one side, has uneven shoulders, or shows variations in leg length, discuss these concerns with your paediatrician. Close monitoring through regular check-ups and X-rays might be sufficient for mild curvatures (less than 25 degrees).

Addressing Curvature Progression

For moderate curvatures with a risk of progression, doctors may recommend some of the following treatment options: 

  • Modified Mehta Casting: This technique involves strategically applied casts changed every few months to correct the curve as your child grows gradually.
  • TLSO Bracing: A custom-made 3D thoracic-lumbar-sacral orthosis (TLSO) brace helps stabilise and potentially improve spinal alignment.

Advantages of Non-Surgical Treatment

These non-surgical approaches, if prescribed, offer several benefits:

  • Minimally Invasive: They avoid the risks associated with surgery.
  • Growth-Friendly: They allow for continued growth and development of the spine.
  • Improved Comfort: Compared to surgery, these methods are generally more comfortable for young children.

Surgery often leads to more surgery to accommodate spine growth.  

The Importance of a Treatment Plan:

A comprehensive treatment plan often involves a collaborative approach, including paediatricians, orthopedists, and physical therapists. 

  • Paediatricians – provide general medical care and monitor your child’s health.
  • Orthotists – specialists who diagnose and manage spinal conditions in children, including scoliosis. They assess the severity of the curve and recommend the most suitable treatment approach.
  • Physical Therapists – can design scoliosis-specific exercise programs to strengthen core muscles and improve flexibility, aiding spinal stability.

Infantile Scoliosis can Achieve Positive Outcomes

With early intervention and proper management, most children with infantile scoliosis live healthy and active lives. As your specialist recommends, regular follow-up appointments and continued bracing or exercise programs are crucial for long-term success.

Early detection is key! If you have any concerns about your child’s development, talk to your paediatrician or consult with a specialist. Children with infantile scoliosis can achieve positive outcomes and lead fulfilling lives with proper treatment.