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Congenital Scoliosis Diagnosis

After noticing a bump on our little Emerson's back at 5 months old, she had her first x-ray.  Since then we have done physical therapy, taken her to a chiropractor, had another x-ray, an MRI, CT scan, and ultrasound, and have visited with two separate doctors on what their plan for her would be. 

The diagnosis is congenital scoliosis, which means her spine is curved because there is something that didn't form correctly as she developed.  She has two vertebrae that are partial, so instead of being a rectangle, they are wedges.  The measures of her curves are 58 and 72. 

Option #1:  Put a brace on her and do a surgery after she is 2 years old (probably closer to 3).  During surgery the partial vertebrae would be taken out and they will fuse the spine together at those points.  Some small rods would be put in at that point to support the fuse.  After surgery she would be casted and then have a brace, but would most likely need another surgery to insert rods again at 5 years old, 10 years, and 15.  The doctor was very confident that she would be able to play any sport and would not be restricted. 

Option #2:  This doctor was concerned about the amount of room her lungs currently have to grow and wants to use casting as a method of improving the curve (not fixing it) to give her lungs more space.  The surgery would have to be done, but the casting would allow us to wait until she was a little older ("school age").  The casts would be put on while she was knocked out and would remain on her for a month at a time.  After each cast she gets a week break and then gets another.  They would do three in a row and then do a brace for a while.  No long term plan.  She will need the surgery, but we will see what her spine does and make a plan as we go.  She should be able to do most sports, but things like tumbling may be a problem. 

This blog shows some pictures of what the casting would be like.


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