Early onset idiopathic scoliosis

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2006 Feb;14(2):101-12. doi: 10.5435/00124635-200602000-00005.


Children with early onset scoliosis typically present before age 5 years. Radiographic criteria help to distinguish progressive cases from those that will spontaneously resolve. Severe cardiopulmonary problems may occur in untreated progressive cases. A comprehensive evaluation should be performed to identify commonly associated conditions, such as plagiocephaly, congenital heart disease, inguinal hernia, and hip dysplasia. For curves >20 degrees , magnetic resonance imaging of the neural axis is indicated to rule out occult central nervous system lesions. Surgical management should be considered when nonsurgical measures, including bracing and casting, fail to arrest progression. Surgical methods continue to evolve and are primarily directed at obtaining and maintaining curve correction while simultaneously preserving spinal and trunk growth.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / growth & development
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Scoliosis / complications
  • Scoliosis / physiopathology
  • Scoliosis / therapy*
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Spine / growth & development
  • Thoracoplasty
  • Treatment Outcome