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4-Step Guide to Diagnosing Your Child’s Scoliosis

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

By Victoria E. Drake

Feel like your son or daughter suffers from scoliosis? Well first of all, let us define scoliosis:

Scoliosis (sko-lee-OH-sis) from the ancient Greek word for bending, is a condition where the spine has an abnormal side-to-side curve, almost like a “C” or “S” shaped curve.

Who suffers from scoliosis the most?

3-5 children out of every 1,000. Most common amongst girls.

Is there more than one kind of scoliosis?

Why yes, there are three main diagnoses:

Idiopathic Scoliosis

• Most common form, particularly adolescent girls

• Abnormal “C” or “S” shaped spinal curvature

Neuromuscular Scoliosis

• Associated with cerebral palsy, myopathy or spina-bifida

Congenital Scoliosis

• Present at birth

• Least common form

Still unsure if your child suffers from scoliosis? Here is a 4 -step guide to beginning your child’s diagnosis:

1. Have your child stand in front of you with their back to you;

2. Check shoulder height-should be even;

3. If not, check pelvis height-should also be even;

4. If not, have your child bend over and touch their toes, if there is a rib-hump, your son or daughter may suffer from scoliosis and you should seek professional help.

Here is a more detailed, 5-minute video on how to diagnose your child. It also incorporates the use of the Scolio-gauge app available on iTunes:

If you feel like your son or daughter has been misdiagnosed, or their scoliosis has gone ignored by professionals, Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP has experience in such cases. In Kara Rykowski v. Orange County Pediatrics, a $350,000 settlement was awarded to the family of a 14-year old girl whose scoliosis went untreated by her pediatrician. It was not until the school nurse examined the girl and noted the severity of her spine curvature. The girl ended up receiving corrective surgery where rods were placed in her back. All of this could have been avoided if her pediatrician had noted the problem and sought treatment.

Please contact our office if you feel that your son or daughter suffers from scoliosis and it has gone untreated by medical professionals.

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