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Talking to Your Doctor About Scoliosis
- 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.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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%5FInfo/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.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 11/2013
- Update Date: 11/21/2013