5 Facts About Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis

By Rosemary Marchese, Physiotherapist 

Children running

Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis (JIS) needs careful attention and it is so important that these children are not ‘missed’. With much of the attention in the literature often falling to the adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) group, it is vital to remember that children under 10 years old with scoliosis represent a cohort who are at high risk of progression.

5 Facts about JIS 

  1. The prevalence of neuroaxis abnormalities with presumed JIS and a curve more than 20 degrees has been recently shown to be 19% (1). 
  2. A total spine MRI evaluation in JIS patients with a curve more than 20 degrees is warranted (1)
  3. Other important indicators for MRI for JIS include being male, having a left thoracic or right lumbar curve (1).
  4. Scoliosis specific exercises for these patients may be useful, but the program should accommodate their physical and emotional maturity levels. 
  5. Part time bracing (night time) for patients with JIS may be a useful option and worth exploring (2).

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  1. Zhang, Wen & Sha, Shifu & Xu, Leilei & Liu, Zhen & Qiu, Yong & Zhu, Zezhang. (2016). The prevalence of intraspinal anomalies in infantile and juvenile patients with “presumed idiopathic” scoliosis: A MRI-based analysis of 504 patients. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 17. 10.1186/s12891-016-1026-7. 
  2. Jarvis J, Garbedian S, Swamy G. Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis: the effectiveness of part-time bracing. (2008). Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1;33(10):1074-8. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e31816f6423. PMID: 18449040.

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