dr. Gary Nattrass

Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon

Scoliosis

Paediatric Scoliosis is a medical condition that causes an abnormal curvature of the spine in children and adolescents

Dr Gary Nattrass Scoliosis Assessment

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine has a sideways curvature and is most often diagnosed during adolescence.

The spine is made up of multiple bones (vertebrae) that are connected to cartilage, which provides the flexibility to bend, stretch and balance. Scoliosis occurs when the vertebrae form an ‘S’ or ‘C’ shaped line instead of being straight. 

Scoliosis

Scoliosis Treatment

In the constantly evolving world of spinal deformities, Gary believes that the primary focus for mild scoliosis is non-operative. To this end, Gary works alongside a trusted team of expert physiotherapists and orthotists to address a child’s spinal condition. 

In many cases, scoliosis is mild and can be observed with no intervention; however, if left unmonitored, the spinal curves can worsen as your child grows.

When surgery is deemed necessary, there are many options depending on curve type and severity, as well as the patient’s age and any underlying medical conditions.

Gary is qualified in a broad range of surgical options, including posterior spinal instrumentation, anterior scoliosis surgery, ‘growing’ rods and vertebral body tethering (VBT).

Dr Gary Nattrass Melbourne Orthopaedic Surgeon

Quick Facts About Scoliosis

Cause

Unknown/ Genetics

Signs/ Symptoms

‘S’ or ‘C’ curved spine, Asymmetry in shoulders or hips

Treatment

Brace/Surgery

Treatment Process

Easy/Moderate (TBC)

Recovery

Brace N/A/ Surgery 12 months

Covered under Medicare?

Yes, select patients may be eligible

Download Scoliosis Fact Sheet

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For more information, download the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne Scoliosis Fact Sheet.

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Scoliosis FAQs

Although the exact cause is often unknown, it is helpful to divide Scoliosis into the following categories

  • Idiopathic Scoliosis: meaning the cause is unknown (although there is often a genetic predisposition)
  • Congenital Scoliosis: here the spinal vertebrae have not been formed correctly in-utero 
  • Neuromuscular conditions: where there is an underlying condition such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, neurofibromatosis etc

Scoliosis is relatively common and affects 2-3% of the population. It is more prevalent in females and usually appears between 10-13 years of age.

Symptoms of Scoliosis include

  • Asymmetry in the shoulders or hip
  • Uneven or twisted waistline
  • One side of the chest having ribs that stick out more prominently than the other

Ideally if detected early and depending on the severity, it may be appropriate for your child to be fitted with a Scoliosis brace. If the brace is deemed unsuccessful, surgery such as VBT, posterior spinal instrumentation, anterior scoliosis surgery, or ‘growing’ rods may need to be undertaken.

If left untreated, Scoliosis can worsen with age. The rate and degree of progression can vary depending on the type of Scoliosis, and the location of the curve.

Vic Ortho Staff

Speak to our friendly team

Not all conditions and symptoms are alike. If you have a concern about your child’s wellbeing or would like to direct questions to Gary Nattrass you may contact our friendly team on 03 9322 3360.

We will gladly take your call and assist you with your enquiry.