Infantile scoliosis is scoliosis that is first diagnosed in a child between birth and 3 years old. Many infantile curves will resolve without treatment but those that don’t resolve can be very difficult to manage because of the growth that occurs through the spine as the young child gets older.
Infantile scoliosis can be associated with Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome. This is defined as the inability of the thorax to support normal breathing or lung growth.
The thorax includes the spine, rib cage, and sternum (breast bone). There needs to be enough space in the thorax for the lungs to grow, and for breathing to occur. In early stages of scoliosis or from fused or absent ribs may initially have little impact on the infant’s breathing. As the deformity gets worse, breathing can become more difficult and cause difficulty with play and routine activities.
If the thorax doesn’t enlarge as the child grows, the lungs don’t grow normally, limiting the capacity for breathing. Without an adequate ability to breathe the child may develop growth and developmental delays.
- Growing Rod