View Full Version : How much X-ray is too much?

11-05-2007, 02:44 PM
We are in the waiting and watching stage for my daugher. The orthopedic surgeon said wait 6 months before another x-ray. I understand the concern over too much radiation. However, 6 months seems like a long time considering her age and stage of maturity. My DD is 12.5 years old. She has not started menstruation and family history indicates it could still be a few years off. Her Risser Sign appears to be 0, Tanner Stage 2. Should I be asking for an x-ray at 4 months? Earlier? How often do people normally
get x-rays at this stage?

11-05-2007, 04:11 PM

The answer to that question might depend somewhat on her degree of curvature. A lot of times, it's 4 months between x-rays but there are so many factors to consider.

11-05-2007, 05:40 PM
Good point! She measures from T6-T9, apex right, 19 degrees and T10-L3, apex left, 17 degrees according to an orthopedist. The radiology report shows T5-T9, 24 degrees, and T11-L3, 22 degrees.

BTW, should I be concerned about this difference? They are measuring from different vertebrae, right?

11-05-2007, 06:43 PM
It looks like your daughter's measurements are within the +/-5 degrees margin of error, even if the same physician/person reads the xray. Using a COBB angle measurement, or any other xray measurement is not exact science. If she's been followed for 4 months previously, and hasn't had much change in her curves, then 6 months seems very reasonable and appropriate. Unless there is an obvious change - like she starts menses, she suddenly has a growth spurt, you notice a visible change in her body, etc.

As far as too much xray, I can't speak about that. My son has been xrayed from day 1, literally. A lot of xray, but necessary for his congenital scoliosis and other orthopedic issues. I think you are safe.

11-05-2007, 10:35 PM

I would get a second opinion ASAP because if you wait 6 months you'll probably be looking at spinal surgery in the not to distant future. The number of x-rays you'll be dealing with in preparation/during AND after surgery will make your head spin.