Early detection of scoliosis2019-02-08T14:04:11+00:00


Scoliosis is known to affect approximately 4.5% of the population. However, many cases are not diagnosed, and it is believed that the real number is closer to a 15 to 20% of the population.

The development of mechanisms for early detection of illnesses and the availability of complementary studies, have begun to allow for early detection and treatment at younger ages. The detection of spinal abnormalities of all types is much greater than before.

What are the signs of scoliosis?

The spinal clinical exam allows for early diagnosis of this type of spinal deviation. It is important to highlight which are the clinical elements that help to make the diagnosis of scoliosis. In a typical patient with the spine aligned, the shoulders, the scapula and hips will be level. Typically, in a patient with scoliosis we can see significant asymmetries between one side and the other at these levels. Also, the Adams Test (bending at the waist) will reveal the vertebral misalignment and a unilateral prominent rib hump. If you notice any of these signs is important to take an x-ray, since it is the definitive manner to diagnose scoliosis.

  • Unleveled shoulders.
  • Unleveled scapulae.
  • Unleveled pelvis.
  • Unilateral Rib Hump (a positive Adams sign)
  • In some cases, difference in the length of the extremities.

Unfortunately, we frequently still see first visits young patients and adolescents with severe deformities that went undetected. They may already have compromised the respiratory and cardiac function, situation that shows a failure in the early diagnosis and prevention of this pathology. It is important to control the health of children, that is, not only of infants or young children but also semi-annual control or, at least annually, in those older than 3 years until skeletal maturity.

Even if the parents see their children as healthy, it is important to have a spinal exam to detect early problems in the spine, since this will be a great advantage if treatment is necessary. Treatment typically involves a multidisciplinary team that includes parents, pediatricians, chiropractors, orthopedists and pneumonologists.

-Vallejos Meana Néstor, Rositto Víctor, Legarreta Carlos, Escalada María, Rositto Gabriel. Detección precoz de la escoliosis. Arch. argent. pediatr.  [Internet]. 2005  Ago [citado  2018  Sep  28] ;  103( 4 ): 367-370. Disponible en: http://www.scielo.org.ar