HJAR May/Jun 2020

38 MAY / JUN 2020 I  HEALTHCARE JOURNAL OF ARKANSAS CHILDREN’S HEALTH COLUMN CHILDREN’S HEALTH Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) typically affects children who otherwise have no other medical problems. While a family history of scoliosis is common, newly diagnosed AIS patients often do not have other affected family members. AIS typically presents early in the adolescent growth spurt. Active research continues into the genetics of AIS to better understand the underlying cause of the disease and predict an individual risk of deformity progression. Pediatric Scoliosis: CURRENT PRACTICE AND EMERGING TREATMENTS Scoliosis is the most common spinal deformity, defined as a curvature of the spine in the frontal plane. There are several types of pediatric scoliosis, the most common of which is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Epidemiological studies have stated that up to 5 percent of the population has idiopathic scoliosis, making this a common musculoskeletal diagnosis. Other forms of childhood scoliosis include: congenital scoliosis that presents at birth due to a malformed vertebra; neuromuscular scoliosis in patients with disorders such as cerebral palsy ormuscular dystrophy; and syndromic scoliosis, as part of genetic disorders such as Marfan syndrome or neurofibromatosis. Each type of scoliosis requires a different workup and treatment plan, and has a different prognosis. The most critical aspect of treating AIS is early detection and referral to a pediatric spine specialist. Multiple medical societies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Scoliosis Research Society, have worked together to publish consensus guidelines for scoliosis screening. Girls should be screened twice, at ages 10 and 12, and boys once, at age 13- 14. Screening should be done by primary care providers, and are also frequently provided by schools.