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Examination of the Newborn With Congenital Scoliosis: Focus on the Physical

Brand, M. Colleen RN, MSN, NNP-BC

Section Editor(s): MERRITT, LINDA MSN, RNC

doi: 10.1097/01.ANC.0000338016.03040.6b
Focus on the Physical: 2.5 HOURS Continuing Education

Although scoliosis at birth is rare, conditions at birth and in the newborn period predispose newborns to the development of scoliosis in later life. Scoliosis is congenital when associated with abnormal vertebral segmentation regardless of the age of diagnosis. Other conditions may predispose neonates to vertebral damage or the development of sustained uneven forces on the developing spine. Although it is difficult to know which newborns will progress to developing scoliosis, it is important to be aware of risk factors to provide anticipatory education for parents and to arrange appropriate follow-up after discharge. This article reviews the embryology of vertebral formation and risk factors for the development of scoliosis. The discussion includes the incidence, risk factors, genetics, associated problems, physical examination, and nursing implications of the infant with congenital scoliosis.

Texas Children's Hospital, Houston.

Address correspondence to M. Colleen Brand, RN, MSN, NNP-BC, Texas Children's Hospital, 6621 Fannin, MC 1-1410, Houston, TX 77030;

© 2008 National Association of Neonatal Nurses