Scoliosis is a condition where the spine twists and/or curves to the side.

Early-onset scoliosis refers to the age of a child when diagnosed. Children diagnosed with scoliosis by age 10 have early-onset scoliosis. EOS could be idiopathic or neuromuscular.

View our video, "What is scoliosis?"

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What are the signs and symptoms of early-onset scoliosis?

  • Uneven shoulders
  • One shoulder blade that protrudes more than the other
  • Ribs more prominent on one side
  • Uneven waistline
  • Difference in hip height

What causes early-onset scoliosis?

The cause of early-onset idiopathic scoliosis is unknown.

If a child has early-onset neuromuscular scoliosis, their condition is caused by an underlying condition. Conditions that may cause NMS include muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and spina bifida.

How is early-onset scoliosis diagnosed?

  • Physical exam
  • X-rays
  • Additional imaging if needed
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    • Computed tomography (CT) scan

How is early-onset scoliosis treated?

Treatment for early-onset scoliosis depends on the extent of your child’s condition.

Mild cases of scoliosis require no treatment aside from simple observation. Moderate to severe scoliosis may require further treatment. In cases of moderate scoliosis, a child can be treated with a brace. This can correct the curve or prevent it from getting worse. Children with severe scoliosis may require surgery.

Connecticut Children’s is experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of this neuromuscular scoliosis, with expertise using MAGEC growing rods that grow with the child. Doctors at Connecticut Children’s continue to research neuromuscular scoliosis and its treatments.