Does your child have uneven shoulders, with one shoulder appearing higher than the other? Or an oddly curved spine that looks like the alphabet S? These are some of the symptoms of scoliosis, a medical condition commonly affecting children and adolescents, particularly girls.
The prevalence of scoliosis is the highest during the growth spurt years, between the ages of 9 and 15. Scoliosis also affects adults, but is less common.
In scoliosis, the normally straight spine curves from side to side due to a deformity in the bone. The deformity can be congenital, present from birth, or it can develop during the growing years. Most often, there is no known cause, and the condition is then called “idiopathic scoliosis”.
“Scoliosis is a deformity of the spine, and should not be confused with poor posture, which is generally associated with weak muscles of the spine,” says Dr Guo Changming, Senior Consultant, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Singapore General Hospital.