Scoliosis is a condition that causes a sideways curvature of the spine and mostly occurs during the growth spurt, a period before puberty when your child’s height rapidly increases.
If you think your child may have scoliosis, you will greatly benefit from the expertise of Dr. Bradley Ahlgren of Ahlgren Spine Orthopaedic Surgery. He is one of the top spinal surgeons in the greater southeast Michigan area.
Dr. Ahlgren will thoroughly examine your child’s spine to determine the severity of the curvature. For mild cases, involving a curvature of fewer than 20 degrees, Dr. Ahlgren will consistently monitor your child’s spine to anticipate changes or progression and will not usually recommend treatment. However, for moderate cases— where a curvature is more than 20 degrees but less than 45, in which surgery isn’t usually required—Dr. Ahlgren may recommend the following nonsurgical treatment options:
Dr. Ahlgren may recommend physical therapy for your child, not to correct the curvature, but to alleviate the pain and other associated discomforts. He will refer your child to a highly qualified physical therapist, who will incorporate orthopedic manual therapy, exercises, and general flexibility techniques to strengthen your child’s back and leg muscles, increase their flexibility, and prevent injury.
If your child has a moderate case of scoliosis, Dr. Ahlgren may suggest a custom-made brace, which is most typically prescribed for curvatures between 25 and 30 degrees and when children have at least two years of growth remaining. Dr. Ahlgren’s goal for bracing is not to mend the curvature, but to prevent its progression—and the possibility of spinal surgery—as your child grows.
To ensure optimal efficacy, Dr. Ahlgren will provide instructions on how long your child has to wear the brace. Typically, children with moderate cases of scoliosis need to wear braces for at least 18 hours a day.
After your child stops growing, the brace is usually no longer necessary. Dr. Ahlgren may have your child stop wearing a brace early if he sees that it’s not helping.
Mehta casting is an ideal treatment option for early-onset scoliosis, which occurs in children before 10 years of age.
Dr. Ahlgren will apply a cast around your child’s back and chest using a special technique aimed at correcting the spinal deformity over time. Mehta casting is a nonsurgical approach but typically performed under general anesthesia. Dr. Ahlgren will change the cast every two to three months, as your child grows.
Mehta casting may require several cast changes, depending on the severity of the curvature, but this potentially allows Dr. Ahlgren to fully address the curvature without any incisions. In some cases, your child may still need a brace or surgical treatment in the future.
High-Quality Nonsurgical Scoliosis Treatment in Rochester, MI
For more information about our scoliosis treatment services or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bradley Ahlgren, contact us at 248-215-8080, or you may use our online appointment booking tool. We look forward to serving you!