Accurate assessment of a scoliosis or hyperkyphosis case is one of the most important steps in achieving the best outcome.
Assess posture, measure X-Rays
Scoliosis can be detected through postural assessment, but can only be accurately diagnosed and measured on an X-Ray of the spine. Standing X-Rays should only be used, as they show the true degree and alignment of the curve or curves while the patient is upright. Lying down X-Rays are not as useful as the spine can be mispositioned and the true extent of the scoliosis minimised.
Once X-Ray images have been taken, a type of measurement called the “Cobb angle” is used to assess the degree of the scoliosis. It is criticial that any health professional assessing scoliosis be familiar and accurate with this measurement, as it is then used to form recommendations for treatment options based on the degree of curve.
What scoliosis measurements mean
A scoliosis is a curve with over 10 degrees Cobb angle, with visible rotation of the vertebrae. If no rotation is seen on X-Ray, the curve is not a true scoliosis and may be postural or positional.
Many scoliosis surgeons recommend surgery when the curve is over 40 or 45 degrees and there is a high probability of worsening over time.
ScoliCare’s approach to scoliosis treatment is to ensure each curve is accurately assessed from the outset and to recommend appropriate treatment options, tailored to each patient.
We can conduct an assessment face to face or, if you already have X-rays, we can offer a second opinion. Reviewing existing X-rays is a free online service. Note that we review scoliosis and hyperkyphosis X-rays only.