Talking to Your Doctor About ScoliosisEn Español (Spanish Version)
Your child has a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your child's doctor about the personal risk factors and/or experience with scoliosis. By talking openly and regularly with the doctor, you can take an active role in your child's care.
General Tips for Gathering Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your child's doctor:
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your DoctorAbout Scoliosis:
Does my child have any spinal curvature?
- If so, what degree is the curvature?
- Is there any way to tell whether the scoliosis has resulted in any other complications?
- Is the cause of my child's scoliosis unknown, or might it be due to some other medical condition?
About Your Child's Risk of Developing Scoliosis:
- What is the chance that my child might develop scoliosis?
- Should my other children be screened for scoliosis?
- Is there any new information about ways to decrease the risk of developing scoliosis?
About Treatment Options:
- Can my child be monitored instead of wearing a brace?
- How frequently will monitoring occur?
- Will a brace be necessary?
- If a brace is necessary, how long will it have to be worn each day?
- How many years will a brace be required?
- Might surgery be necessary?
- How will we know if surgery is necessary?
About Lifestyle Changes:
- Are there any activities my child cannot participate in?
- Is there any new information about any kinds of exercise or other lifestyle changes that might be beneficial?
- Could my child's scoliosis lead to any kind of disability?
- How likely is it that my child's degree of scoliosis will progress?
- Is there anything I can do to slow or halt the progression of my child's scoliosis?
Altaf F, Gibson A, et al. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. BMJ. 2013;346:f2508.
Idiopathic scoliosis in children and adolescents. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at:
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00353. Updated March 2010. Accessed November 20, 2013.
Questions and answers about scoliosis in children and adolescents. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at:
http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Scoliosis/default.asp. Updated July 2013. Accessed November 20, 2013.
Scoliosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated October 29, 2013. Accessed November 20, 2013.
Tips for talking to your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/healthcare-management/working-with-your-doctor/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor.html. Updated November 2010. Accessed November 21, 2013.
Last Reviewed November 2013