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BMJ Case Rep. 2012 May 8;2012. pii: bcr0120125594. doi: 10.1136/bcr.01.2012.5594.

Acute scoliosis in a 3-year-old boy.

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  • 1Orthopaedics Department, Kings Mill Hospital, Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, UK.


The case describes the presentation of a fit and well 3-year-old boy to the emergency department of a district general hospital after he developed an acute scoliosis overnight. There was no history of trauma, his observations were normal and he had non-specific symptoms of lethargy and reduced appetite, but no fevers or respiratory distress. Bloods showed raised inflammatory markers and he was referred to orthopaedics as a septic disc as there was some spinal tenderness. An urgent MRI was considered initially but on further examination there was some reduced air entry on the left lung base which a chest radiograph confirmed as a left-sided pneumonia. A diagnosis of pneumonia and secondary functional scoliosis was made. The child was admitted under paediatrics and made a full recovery on antibiotics. At 8 weeks follow-up there was resolution of scoliosis clinically and radiologically.

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