Kyphoscoliosis and children’s heavy bags

I am reminding the Freeport schools that several years ago, I highly recommended that children should put away those heavy-laden backpacks and knapsacks and use the rollaway bags on wheels. 


We are once again seeing numbers of students, especially girls with kyphosis, lordosis and scoliosis. 


Many of these girls have had to go away to hospitals in the USA, like the Shriners Hospital in Tampa for expensive neurosurgery to correct the backache and abnormality of the spine, which is the result of carrying their heavy books in knapsacks on their immature growing spinal columns.


We, as children's doctors, family physicians or pediatricians are left with the solemn task of giving parents of young children timely advice as to how to prevent kyphoscoliosis.


Kyphosis – This is defined as an abnormal curvature of the spine in the back.


Scoliosis – This is a more common complaint when the curve is in the “S” shape from side to side.


Lordosis – This is the curvature that usually occurs in the lumbosacral area and is accentuated when women wear those ultra high-heeled shoes or men develop a very large “rum belly.”


SYMPTOMS – The result of these abnormal curvatures are breathing difficulties, impedes growth, backaches and back spasms. Those often require prolonged physiotherapy and medical visits often by specialist orthopedic physicians.


TREATMENT – There are medical treatments, and some devices including body casts may be used. Eventually, however, surgery is the outcome. 


PREVENTION – As good doctors, however, we must make urgent requests to all schools and their principals to be pragmatic and recommend that the pull-on-wheel bags are the preference for our school children, especially young girls. 


Conclusion – Any parent who has had to go through having their children operated on for kyphoscoliosis, will be the first to tell you it is too expensive and troubling a surgery.


There is also the very bad habit of having older girls help their mothers by babysitting younger, heavy toddlers and holding them on one side of their hips. 


Prevention is better than cure.

~ Aman’Ra


Published  Tuesday, February 7, 2017 


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