Pediatric Scoliosis

Symptoms of Pediatric Scoliosis

As a parent, keep in mind that your child may not notice or feel symptoms of scoliosis. Your child most likely will not come to you with complaints of pain or stating that they notice a strange curve in their spine. However, if signs and symptoms are present, you will most likely notice them externally. Even so, sometimes the visible symptoms are far too subtle for the eye to see. Screening by a medical professional is suggested, and the use of X-rays or MRIs may be necessary to truly pinpoint the condition.

The Advanced Spine Center of New Jersey has 3 of the world’s leading surgeons in treating this specific condition. Dr. Lowenstein has years of training and experience in treating both pediatric and adult scoliosis, and has earned his place as one of the top three scoliosis doctors in the country. Call us today to get working with our nationally-recognized “Top Doctors” and receive the individualized that care you deserve.

Causes of Pediatric Scoliosis

There are three principal causes of pediatric scoliosis. The first, and most common cause, is idiopathic. Medical professionals use term idiopathic when the exact cause of the condition is unknown. In recent years, however, researchers have noted that this condition may have a genetic component. Idiopathic scoliosis is know to run in families. Other possible causes of idiopathic scoliosis may stem from environmental effects on uneven bone growth, hormonal imbalances, malnutrition… The list goes on. A genetic link seems to be the strongest theory to date, and a genetic test call the ScoliScore™ can be performed to determine future progression of the condition based on genetic markers.

Another cause of pediatric scoliosis lies in neuromuscular diseases. Conditions such as muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and cerebral palsy can lead to spinal malformation. Each of these diseases causes the muscles to form abnormally, which can lead to weak and/or spastic muscles in the back. When the muscles form irregularly, develop weakness, or become stiff and spastic, they cannot support the spine adequately. This can cause the spine to grow in painful or abnormal directions.

The third most common cause of pediatric scoliosis is congenital. With this type, we are referring to any scoliosis noticed at birth or resulting from fetal development while in the womb. The reasons for abnormal development may result from environmental factors or from a trauma of some sort. It is less likely that genetics plays a role in congenital scoliosis than they do in idiopathic scoliosis. However, your doctor can also perform tests while the baby is in utero to determine if spinal malformation is present.

Pediatric Scoliosis Treatment Options


One of the main steps in treating pediatric scoliosis is observation, or watching the spine and ensuring progression does not worsen over time. Observation will involve monitoring the spine with periodic trips to the doctor and having X-ray or MRI images taken regularly.

Physical Therapy

A physical therapist can work with you and your child to develop a treatment regimen that will both improve back health and boost mental wellness. Muscular strength and flexibility is important to spinal well-being and developing these skills can reduce pain.


Bracing is a common form of treatment to correct mild to moderate abnormalities in spinal curvature. Braces are either made of rigid plastic or flexible elastic. The type and nature of brace chosen will be individualized to your child’s specific curves and needs.

Scoliosis Surgery

Extreme curvatures of the spine may require spinal fusion to correct. Using screws, hooks, and rods, your surgeon will mechanically fix the spine in a certain position to avoid further degeneration. Bone material will be added to fuse or reinforce existing bones. Read more...