Straightening out scoliosis

Cincinnati Children’s offers early treatment for scoliosis — even for babies. Click on the video to learn more.

Did you know treatment for early onset scoliosis can begin when patients are babies? Experts at Cincinnati Children’s often correct curves in a child’s spine with a series of casts. June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month, and we invite you to learn more about early onset scoliosis.

A bump on her back

A mother’s instinct told Courtney Strotman something was wrong with her baby.

Addyson Strotman was 4 weeks old when Courtney noticed the bump on her back. Courtney’s husband, Brandon, tried to ease her fears, telling her it was just a muscle. But Courtney insisted it was something more.

Five months later, doctors at Cincinnati Children’s diagnosed Addyson with infantile scoliosis. An X-ray measured the curve in Addyson’s spine at 26 degrees. Two months later, it had worsened to 42 degrees. The Strotmans’ options were to do nothing and face the complications of spinal deformity, to put growing rods in Addyson’s spine, or to try to correct the problem with a series of casts that their baby would wear for about a year.

Dr. Peter Sturm, director of Crawford Spine Center at Cincinnati Children’s, specializes in early onset scoliosis. Click on the video to learn more about treatment.

Controlling curves with casting

They decided on casting, a method that is quickly becoming the preferred treatment for early onset scoliosis. Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Peter Sturm brought the Mehta casting technique to Cincinnati. “We can actually control curves and frequently get them better just with casting,” Sturm says. “It’s less invasive, and it works.”

Tanya Leach

About the Author: Tanya Leach

Tanya Bricking Leach is a writer and video producer at Cincinnati Children's and a former newspaper reporter who has covered crime for The Cincinnati Enquirer, sports for USA Today, island life for The Honolulu Advertiser, food for The Associated Press and stories about storms and surfers for the New York Times. Tanya is the author of the military-themed travel guide "Hawaii for Heroes." She is married to a military veteran and is the mother of two young boys. When she's not wired in at work, she enjoys unplugging with her family on their sailboat.

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