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How Is Scoliosis Diagnosed ?

There are several ways to diagnose scoliosis and to detect if a person is suffering from scoliosis:

  • Physician Physical Exam: Most curves are initially detected during school scoliosis screening, a child’s paediatrician; family doctor, or by a parent.
  • Scoliometer Measurements: Measures angle of trunk rotation (ATR).
  • X-Rays/Röentgen: The diagnosis of scoliosis and the determination of the type of scoliosis is ascertained via careful orthopaedic exam and an X-ray/radiological evaluation to determine the severity of the curve and prognosis of the condition  or management.
  • MRI: In rare instances a physician may also request an MRI scan of the thoracic and/or cervical spine. If there are any neurological deficits that would indicate impingement of the spinal cord, if there is a left-sided thoracic curvature (they are almost always right sided), or if the child is very young (8 to 11 years old), an MRI scan is advisable to examine the possibility of an intra-canal spinal lesion, which can cause scoliosis.

    Treatment for scoliosis is dependent on:

    • Age when scoliosis is diagnosed
    • In children, the rate of growth in height
    • The degree and shape of the spinal curvature
    • The type of scoliosis
    • The rate of deterioration of scoliosis curve

When detected early during childhood, the curvature of the scoliosis deformity may be improved and the prognosis is much better.

  • Observation: doctor will monitor every 3 to 6 months to see if the curve is improving, worsening or stabilising. Observation is used for those who have a curve of less than 25° and are still growing.
  • Bracing: doctors may advise wearing a brace to prevent, stabilise, correct or support a curve from deteriorating.
  • Surgery: surgery may be recommended to correct a curve or stop it from worsening if the individual is still growing; or if the curve is more than 40° and crucial if the patient is displaying signs and symptoms of neurological, visceral, musculoskeletal, cardiac and or respiratory distress; and/or the curve is deteriorating. Surgery often involves fusing together two or more bones in the spine. The doctor may also insert metallic rod(s) or other devices such as implants.
  • Pilates: Pilates is known for helping people develop both strength and flexibility. Please consult your primary care practitioner before embarking on any exercises or programs.
  • Physiotherapy: Physiotherapy, also referred to as physical therapy, involves evaluating, diagnosing, and treating a range of diseases, disorders, and disabilities using rehabilitation, electrophysical and manual techniques.
  • Chiropractic: Your Chiropractor will conduct a thorough history, examination, review the signs and symptoms presented, evaluate previous injuries, your family’s health history, and recreational and work-related activities. Palpation, orthopaedic, and neurological tests will be performed as well as X-rays to determine the extent and severity of the scoliosis, disc injuries or any other spinal-related disorders.
  • Soft Brace: SpineCor® brace is the first and only soft flexible dynamic corrective brace for idiopathic scoliosis. It has been shown to minimise neuro-musculo-skeletal dysfunction, growth asymmetry and reduce postural disorganisation and spinal deformation. SpineCor® has been shown to be 3.9 times more effective in stabilizing or correcting scoliosis compared to TLSO/Boston brace, 89% effective in clinical trials conducted over 10 years with 400 patients.

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