Monday, July 16, 2012

Straightening out Scoliosis

Straightening out Scoliosis (article from CCHMC blog)

by Tanya Leach on June 20, 2012
Did you know treatment for early onset scoliosis can begin when patients are babies? Experts at Cincinnati Children’s often correct curves in a child’s spine with a series of casts. June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month, and we invite you to learn more about early onset scoliosis.
A bump on her back.
A mother’s instinct told Courtney Strotman something was wrong with her baby.
Addyson Strotman was 4 weeks old when Courtney noticed the bump on her back. Courtney’s husband, Brandon, tried to ease her fears, telling her it was just a muscle. But Courtney insisted it was something more.
Five months later, doctors at Cincinnati Children’s diagnosed Addyson with infantile scoliosis. An X-ray measured the curve in Addyson’s spine at 26 degrees. Two months later, it had worsened to 42 degrees. The Strotmans’ options were to do nothing and face the complications of spinal deformity, to put growing rods in Addyson’s spine, or to try to correct the problem with a series of casts that their baby would wear for about a year.
Controlling curves with casting?
They decided on casting, a method that is quickly becoming the preferred treatment for early onset scoliosis. Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Peter Sturm brought the Mehta casting technique to Cincinnati. “We can actually control curves and frequently get them better just with casting,” Sturm says. “It’s less invasive, and it works.”

We need to act fast! If we can prevent anyone else from going through with a terribly invasive surgery like our son did, then we have succeeded! Early detection is key to overcoming this condition. It may not seem like a mainstream illness, but it does affect children negatively, often through difficult treatments. Casting is the preferred method because it is less invasive than surgery, but even casts can be difficult to treat with. We need your help to find a cure and better treatment options. Read this article, check out the CCHMC Crawford Spine Center Facebook page and our website for more information.
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