Accurate assessment of scoliosis cases is one of the most important steps in achieving the best outcomes for a patient.
Assess Posture, Measure X-rays
Scoliosis can detected through postural assessment, but can only be accurately diagnosed and measured on an x-ray of the spine. Standing x-rays only should 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 patient’s 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 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 provide appropriate non-surgical treatment options, tailored to each patient.