The Importance of Early Detection
Scoliosis, when left untreated, can get worse and may cause chronic back pain, impact heart and lung function and take a toll on self-esteem. Screening for the condition is non-invasive and takes about 30 seconds. With early detection and proper treatment, people diagnosed with scoliosis can lead healthy, active lives.
A few seconds can possibly save a child you know years of pain later in life. It’s time to spread the word.
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that affects two to three percent of the population, or an estimated 7 million people in the United States. Most are diagnosed with scoliosis between the ages of 10 and 15, but the condition also affects infants and adults. It is a condition that affects people of all races, classes and both genders. Girls are eight times more likely than boys to have a curve that will progress to a magnitude that requires treatment Scoliosis is common in children with a variety of congenital and neuromuscular diseases, but it is most prevalent in seemingly healthy children, with no known cause (idiopathic).
Most curvatures are minor and require only that patients are monitored by their doctors. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, one-quarter of children with spinal curves require medical attention. In 2004, 1.26 million patients diagnosed with scoliosis utilized health care resources. The estimated total hospital charges, excluding professional fees and non-covered charges, for all patients released from the hospital with an idiopathic scoliosis diagnosis was $2.7 billion.
Fewer than half of the states in our nation currently legislate screening for scoliosis at schools, so it is imperative that parents, teachers, coaches, healthcare professionals and children are aware of the early signs of scoliosis. Additionally, advances in science and technology mean both the diagnosis and treatment of scoliosis are improving every year. Your doctors and medical staff can help raise the awareness of all these issues through the news media and community events.