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Wear the Gown: Scoliosis often first spotted by school nurses

“It tends to get worse as children grow in height, so it’s most often noticed during a growth spurt."

HOUSTON — Scoliosis affects 2-3 percent of the U.S. population.

It can develop at any stage in life, but it’s typically evident in children between the ages of 10-15.

It’s why Dr. Shiraz Younas, a pediatric orthopedist with UT Physicians, says school nurses are often the first to notice the issue.

“It tends to get worse as children grow in height, so it’s most often noticed during a growth spurt,” Shiraz said.

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine, and while it can be caused by conditions like cerebral palsy, in most cases, the cause is unknown. 

Younas says only a small percentage of people with scoliosis require intervention.

Most cases require keeping an professional eye on how a person’s condition progresses over several years.

But when a curve is too severe, spine surgeons like Dr. Shah-Nawaz Dodwad step in.

“These curves become life-threatening when they reach about 90 degrees or so,” Dodwad said. “That’s when their lungs and intestines get compressed, and they have breathing issues.”

UT Physicians offers a multidisciplinary team that specializes in a wide range of care for scoliosis patients and spinal deformities.

You can give them a call at 713-486-7500 or visit their website.

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