If your child has recently been diagnosed with a spinal deformity called thoracic scoliosis, there are several treatment options available to help correct the problem. In many cases, treatment will involve wearing a brace.
There is also the option of surgical correction through either an anterior-posterior laminectomy or vertical hemilaminectomy. These procedures may be done alone or in tandem to provide relief for the spinal cord and nerves. In this piece, we will look at treatment options for thoracic scoliosis.
Thoracic Scoliosis Treatment Options
Bracing. Bracing is a common treatment for scoliosis. In most cases, the brace is worn for 18 hours each day. This allows flexibility in your child’s day, as long as they wear the brace while active and during sleep.
The type of brace your child wears depends on their age, skeletal maturity, whether they have had surgery, and the severity of their scoliosis. The goal of bracing is to slow the progression or stop it altogether.
There are different types of braces, including:
• Conventional. This brace is generally only worn at night. It wraps around the chest and is secured to the back and the ribs using screws. The brace can be worn with a vest or without one. There are over 20 types of conventional braces on the market that are tailored to your child’s specific needs and body shape. A doctor will determine which brace is most appropriate for your child, their age, and aesthetic concerns.
• Pavlik Harness. This is a type of conventional brace that is worn during the day and night. It helps to prevent scoliosis progression and corrects abnormal curvature in patients with spinal deformities. To be effective, the harness must be worn for 23 hours each day for 24 weeks.
• Boston Brace. This brace was designed to treat children with idiopathic scoliosis. It helps to control spinal curvature and stop the progression of the curve. It’s also used by adult scoliosis patients who are undergoing observation or waiting for surgery. This brace is only worn at night. The braces can be customized to your child’s specific needs and preferences through a process called “mold zoning” that allows doctors to make adjustments after your child is fitted with the brace.
Surgery. If bracing isn’t effective or if you and your doctor determine that surgery is the best option for your child, there are two surgical options:
• Anterior-Posterior Laminectomy. This procedure uses a small incision at the front and back of the neck to remove part of the vertebrae and spinal cord. The goal is to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves caused by spinal curvature. In some cases, muscle may be cut to help straighten your child’s spine.
• Vertical Hemilaminectomy. This procedure uses a large incision in the front and back of the neck. It removes part of the spinal cord and can relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. Nerves can be placed over the spinal cord to help control pain and spasticity.
Third-party Physician. If bracing fails or if you and your doctor decide to have surgery, your child’s chiropractor or orthopedic doctor can help provide additional treatment options for scoliosis. The third-party physician can run diagnostic tests and perform an evaluation to determine the best course of action. Through their evaluation, they can provide treatment recommendations and recommend options.
Physical Therapy. As a child’s condition improves, there is the possibility that their scoliosis will progress. In many cases, this leads to surgery again to try and correct the spinal deformity. This can be frustrating and frustrating for your child. Having physical therapy on hand can help them regain their strength and stability. It also helps to prevent progression of the spinal deformity and allow them to live a healthy, pain-free life in spite of their condition.
Scoliosis Support Group. Scoliosis is a condition that is highly stigmatized. If your child has been diagnosed with scoliosis, they might feel self-conscious or even embarrassed by the condition. They may not want to show themselves in public or participate in any physical activities because of their scoliosis. Having the support and friendship of other children who have the same condition can make all the difference in the world for your child.
In conclusion, there are several treatment options available to help your child with scoliosis. If bracing isn’t effective or if you and your doctor decide to have surgery, there are two surgical options available. With these treatment options, you can help your child to live a pain-free life in spite of their scoliosis.
To learn more about thoracic scoliosis treatment options, talk to your doctor or contact us today at 205-637-1363!