Video: Scoliosis Diagnosis, Treatment and Impact on Your Child

Rachel was diagnosed with scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, when she was 11. She describes how it progressed throughout her childhood, the treatments she had and where she found support. Click on the picture below to go to the NHS YouTube channel to watch the video.


Editor’s Note: Video Highlights

  • Rachel, who is grown now, was diagnosed with scoliosis – curvature of the spine – at age 11, in a routine school health check up
  • To check for scoliosis, you have to bend down and touch your toes
  • The impact of the issue depends on how much your spine is curved
  • learning-about-scoliosisRachel’s spinal curve was moderate, so she was still able to do sports and PE
  • What she couldn’t do was trampolining – or anything with a lot of impact
  • There’s a strong genetic link with scoliosis – so siblings should be checked – Rachel’s sister was diagnosed with a slight curve
  • Because Rachel was still growing, she was fitted with a “Boston brace” – which is a plastic corset that fits around the torso
  • At first Rachel found the brace scary – and it was big and bulky – but she got used to it
  • She had a choice of wearing it just during the day – or both day and night – Rachel mostly wore her brace just during the day
  • After wearing the brace for 18 months, Rachel was told she needed surgery
  • This involved having a Harrington rod fused to the base of her spine – to the bottom curve of her S-shaped spine
  • This was also very scary – but Rachel had a lot of support from her parents
  • She was in the hospital for one week – including one night in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit)
  • It was quite major surgery but Rachel recovered at home over the summer – and was able to go back to school at the start of the new year
  • Rachel wore her brace again for another six months to protect her spine – and she wasn’t allowed to do any physical activity during this period
  • If someone was being diagnosed now with scoliosis, Rachel would say: “Don’t be scared. It doesn’t affect your life that much if you don’t let it.”
  • For further support you can go to the Scoliosis Association website in the UK

Editor’s Note: US Resources :


About the Author

NHS Choices ( is the UK’s biggest health website. It provides a comprehensive health information service to help put you in control of your healthcare.


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