A spinal cord injury (SCI) at any age is lifechanging and difficult to treat and manage. However, when a spinal cord injury occurs at a young age, the treatment and management of it needs to be even more specialized.
When pediatric patients are suspected of having a spinal cord injury, it can be difficult to diagnose. The immaturity of a child’s musculoskeletal system can make an injury hard to spot on an x-ray or MRI.
Specialized treatment and management is needed for pediatric spinal cord injuries. Children injured before puberty are still growing, meaning their spinal cord injury is subject to change as they experience growth spurts. Since children are still developing, they are at greater risk of developing scoliosis. Specialized care can help prevent scoliosis as the child grows and develops or may help slow its process.
The rehabilitation program a child partakes in should be specialized in dealing with childhood rehabilitation. These rehabilitation programs will have the knowledge needed to deal with the growth and development of children. Many pediatric spinal cord injury patients require a wide range of therapies including occupational, physical, and sometimes speech. As the child grows, so will their needs for assistive technology.
When treating a child with a spinal cord injury, it is important to keep this information in mind when choosing a healthcare team.
Source: facingdisability.com, Accessed: 8/18/17