Lordosis in Children
What is lordosis in children?
Lordosis is a deformity of the backbone (spine). It’s when the bones of the spine (vertebrae) in the lower back curve inward more than normal. A child with lordosis has a swayback appearance.
What causes lordosis in a child?
A child can be born with lordosis. Or they can develop it because of other health reasons. These include:
- Genetic disorders
- Poor posture
- Nervous system problems
- Back surgery
- Pelvis or hip problems
What are the symptoms of lordosis in a child?
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. The main feature of lordosis are buttocks that are prominent. Symptoms will vary, depending on whether lordosis happens with other defects. These include spine disorders, muscular dystrophy, developmental problems of the hip, or nervous system disorders.
The symptoms of lordosis may look like other back problems. Or they may be a result of an injury or infection. Make sure your child sees their healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How is lordosis diagnosed in a child?
Your child’s healthcare provider can diagnose lordosis with a complete health history of your child, a physical exam, and certain tests. They'll also want to know if there is any family history of lordosis.
Your child may need these tests:
- X-rays. This test makes images of internal tissues, bones, and organs. It can measure the angle of your child’s spinal curve. Treatment is often based on this measurement.
- Bone scans. This test can rule out any infection or broken bones in your child’s back.
- MRI. This test uses a combination of large magnets and a computer to make detailed images of organs and structures within the body. It can rule out any other problems of the spinal cord and nerves.
- CT scan. This test uses X-rays and a computer to make detailed images of the body.
- Blood tests. Blood is drawn at a lab. The results can give your child's healthcare provider more information.
Finding lordosis early is important for treatment. Healthcare providers, and even some school programs, routinely look for signs of lordosis in children.
How is lordosis treated in a child?
Treatment will depend on your child’s diagnosis, symptoms, age, and general health. It'll also depend on how bad the condition is.
The goal of treatment is to stop the curve in the lower back from getting worse and to prevent deformity. Treatment depends on what causes the lordosis. Treatment also depends on the amount of skeletal growth remaining for your child. It may include:
- Observation and repeated exams. Your child will need to see their healthcare provider often to check on the curve of the spine as they grow.
- Exercises. Simple exercises may work if lordosis is tied to poor posture.
- Bracing. A brace can help stabilize the back and stop it from curving further.
- Treatment of other health problems. Lordosis may be the result of some other health condition, such as a hip disorder. Treating that problem may help.
- Surgery. Surgery is rarely needed for lordosis.
Key points about lordosis in children
- Lordosis is a deformity of the spine. It’s when the bones of the spine in the lower back curve inward more than normal.
- A child can be born with lordosis. Or they can develop it because of other health problems. Poor posture can also lead to it.
- The main feature of lordosis is a swayback. It makes the buttocks more prominent.
- X-rays can measure the curve of your child’s spine.
- Treatment depends on the cause of your child’s lordosis and the amount of skeletal growth remaining for your child.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
- Know the reason for the visit and what you want to happen.
- Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
- At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you for your child.
- Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed and how it will help your child. Also know what the side effects are.
- Ask if your child’s condition can be treated in other ways.
- Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
- Know what to expect if your child doesn't take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
- If your child has a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
- Know how you can contact your child’s healthcare provider after office hours, and on weekends and holidays. This is important if your child becomes ill and you have questions or need advice.