Why are we in this clinic?
You are at the EOS clinic because your child has early onset scoliosis. There will be many challenges for you, your child and your doctor, but you have come to the right place. This clinic brings the necessary team members together to treat your child’s condition in the best way possible.
In this clinic we will watch the three main issues of early onset scoliosis: growth, lung function and the progression of the scoliosis.
You and your child will be invited to take part in several research projects which might lead to better care for children all over the world with this same medical problem. Whether you decide to take part in the various research projects, your child’s doctor will keep giving your child the best care available.
Who will my child see in the clinic?
- Orthopedic (bone) Doctor: The orthopedist will watch the scoliosis growth and general growth of your child. This doctor will decide on a treatment plan for the scoliosis and might order special tests to monitor your child’s overall health regarding the scoliosis.
- Pulmonary (lung) Doctor: The pulmonologist will watch lung growth and function. This doctor will order special tests to see how well your child’s lungs are working. They might order medicine or equipment to help your child’s lungs work better.
- Clinic Nurse: The clinic nurse will manage your child’s care. This nurse will explain your child’s medical condition and talk with you about any tests and treatment your c child might need. The clinic nurse will be the one to call with questions or concerns.
- Respiratory (breathing) Therapist: This therapist will do the breathing tests (Pulmonary Function Tests or PFTs) to see how well your child’s lungs work. They will also teach you and your child about any other tests or treatments needed.
- Scoliosis Research Nurse: The research nurse will explain our research projects to you. This nurse might also measure your child’s height and armspan and record clinical information that could be useful in research and also help the doctors in the treatment of your child.
- Orthotist (the “brace maker”): If your orthopedic doctor says your child needs a back brace, the orthotist will make one that is just right for your child.
Breathing Test: Pulmonary Function Test or PFT
What is a PFT?
A PFT (Pulmonary Function Test) is a painless breathing test that can help the doctor determine if your child’s lungs are working properly. A PFT can also help the doctor determine what kind of medicine(s) will be the most effective for your child. This breathing test will be done at every EOS clinic visit.
How is a PFT done?
The respiratory therapist will teach your child a few different ways of breathing. During the test, your child will blow into a tube with force, a lot like blowing out birthday candles.
How should I prepare my child?
- Tell your child that the test does not hurt. Explain how the test is done and answer as many questions as you can.
- If your child is already taking a bronchodilator (inhaler or nebulizer), try not to use it within four hours before the breathing test, if possible.
- If your child is wheezing, coughing or having any problems breathing, go ahead and give the medicine as prescribed.
- The respiratory therapist will take your child to a room to test your child’s lung function. A parent or guardian is allowed to be in the room with your child to cheer them on.
Practice Makes Perfect
- A PFT is hard work. Your child must do the best they can when being tested so your doctors will be able to determine the best treatment method.
- To help your child with the test you will find a pinwheel in this package. Please follow the directions for putting it together.
- Use this pinwheel to help make your child become more comfortable with taking a “really big breath and blowing it out all the way.”
- Practicing this for several days before your appointment will help make your child less anxious during the test.