Child Orthopedics

Frequently Asked Questions

When a child has back pain, what steps do doctors take to find what is causing it?

A child with back pain is examined to be sure that there isn't a physical reason for the pain. This means that the doctors will look for a problem that the child may have been born with or a problem that has developed as the child grew.

To do this, usually x-rays of the back are the first step. If the x-rays don't show anything but the doctor wants to look further, he or she can use more in-depth imaging such as a computed tomography scan (CT scan) or magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI).

Blood tests may be done to rule out some illnesses that can cause back pain and also bone scans are sometimes useful in finding a diagnosis.

It's important to keep in mind that many cases of back pain in children, as with adults, never are given a cause.

Nitin N. Bhatia, et al. Diagnostic Modalities for the Evaluation of Pediatric Back Pain. In Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics. March 2008. Vol. 28. No. 2. Pp. 230-233.

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