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Playing it Straight: Chest & Spine Issues in Teens

The teen years can be tough. Scoliosis or a chest wall deformity can make them even tougher. But the symptoms should not be ignored.

Diagnosing Scoliosis

All spines have a natural curve that extends from the neck to the base of the spine, helping the body maintain balance and alignment. Too much side-to-side or lateral curve in the spinal column results in scoliosis. Here are some red flags that your child might have scoliosis:
• Shoulders are asymmetrical, with one shoulder blade protruding out more than the other
• Head is not centered above the pelvis
• One hip appears to be raised
• Rib cages are different heights
• Waist is uneven
• Skin covering the spine shows changes in appearance or texture (dimples, discoloration or excessive hair)

Diagnosing a Chest Wall Deformity

Chest wall deformities – pectus excavatum (sunken chest) or pectus carinatum (pigeon chest) – most commonly occur in teenagers. Patients can experience symptoms such as:
• Exercise intolerance
• Shortness of breath
• Chest pain
• Embarrassment over body image
• Cannot keep up with peers while playing sports.

Spine Camp

To educate children and parents about scoliosis, chest wall deformities and treatment options, WakeMed Rehab and Children’s Surgical Services, along with Raleigh Orthopaedics, are hosting a half-day spine camp.

Saturday, October 29 – 9 am to Noon
WakeMed Raleigh CampusRehab Health Park

Learn more and register online at or by calling 919-350-4179.