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Dr. Michael Vitale Shares 10 Facts About Scoliosis for Parents

July 5, 2018

Columbia Orthopedics Chief of Spine and Scoliosis Surgery Michael G. Vitale, MD, MPH was featured on NewYork-Presbyterian’s website to discuss “Scoliosis: 10 Facts Parents Need to Know.” He shared tips for parents on when to diagnose scoliosis and how to treat it operatively and nonoperatively. Here are a couple of the tips featured:

On diagnosis:

“Early diagnosis is key. Treatment for children with a spinal curve of about 25º are treated without surgery, using a brace, physical therapy, and/or vitamin D supplements.”

On wearing a brace:

“When a brace is needed, we custom fit your child with an external brace (a vest-like garment) to keep the scoliosis from getting worse and to maintain an upright spine. We choose the most effective brace that your child is most likely to wear as prescribed. Your child should wear the brace for 16 to 18 hours every day until he or she stops growing. This will ensure the spine straightens adequately and will stay straight into adulthood.”

On when surgery is necessary:

“If your child has a curve of 50º or more, surgery is usually necessary. There are a variety of different approaches depending on the age of your child. For younger children, growing rods — including the magnetic remote-controlled MAGEC rod, which can be periodically adjusted using a device placed on the child’s back — is often used. “Tethering” of the vertebrae with screws and cords in the spine is a treatment option for somewhat older children who are still growing. Fusing parts of the spine in an operation through the back is the standard of care for most adolescents and teenagers.”

For more tips, read the full article here.

Follow Dr. Vitale on social media for more insights on scoliosis: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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