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Thread: scoliosis screening in school

  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    New Jersey
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    13

    Exclamation

    I live in NJ the schools in district check in 5th grade...my son goes to a school out of district, his school doesnt do scoliosis checks, Im the one who noticed it.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    672
    My son is (finishing) 8th grade and the first school scoli check he has ever had was just about 1-2 months ago.....way after he was already diagnosed. It seems to me since about 5th grade there was always talk of one but they were always cancelled for some reason.

    FlowerPower

  3. #18
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Texas
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    93
    In Texas public schools are required by law to have scoliosis screening, but iit is largely left up to the individual school districts as to when they are performed. I worked as a school nurse and in my district we were required to do the screening in sixth and ninth grades, the thought being this is the largest period of growth for adolescents and when scolosis is most apt to be detected. We were always taught that it is a "screening" and not able to detect all cases of scoliosis/kyphosis, much like a vision screening does not always pick up all eye problems. It would be nice to have screening done at earlier ages but in the "real world" this is probably not feasible for public schools. Just think, in the 60's and 70's many students were not screened at all. I guess my suggestion is to find out what your own school system has in place for school spinal screening, and if the screening is not done until a later age, check with your doctor.
    Last edited by judyk; 06-20-2005 at 01:46 PM.

  4. #19
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    Mar 2005
    Location
    Kannapolis, North Carolina, near Charlotte
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    I live in North Carolina and do not know about the school screenings, but I "diagnosed" my daughter's scoliosis when I went to give her a backrub for her back pain, which she had been having for 2 months at the time. I had her lay down on her bed and immediately noticed her hump. A few months earlier, her Physician's Assistant signed off on her camp physical that there was "no scoliosis". I took her to the doctor after seeing her rib hump and they did an x-ray to find a 45 degree curve. I suspect the PA at that same clinic earlier that year misdiagnosed. Amazing that if I could see it without even having her in the bent over position, how could it be missed by a PA a few months earlier, and suddenly be 45 degrees! Someday I may pursue this issue with the clinic. She has been to camp annually and therefore has had regular physicals. I assume my other kids are getting physicals for sports annually, and their spines should be checked at those. If all else fails, I have them lean over and trace their spines occassionally. After all, I diagnosed my daughter's, and my own scoliosis is about 10 degrees at most, so I can probably tell if my boys get it too. It is very aggravating if the PA actually did miss it. If she missed it and it was there, close to 45 degrees, I wonder how good a school screening would be anyway? Kris

  5. #20
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    672
    Just a thought as I was reading Kris' last post: between the time the PA did a scoli screening and the time you noticed your daughters scoli did she go through a big growth spurt?? One mom I have spoken with told me her sons curve went from 10 to 55 in a year. I was just thinking that if the curve starts to progress at a more rapid pace over a few months rather than gradually over a period of time that might cause pain because the body is trying to adjust. And pain would be the body's way of telling you something is not right...............I also have 2 other children I am keeping a very watchful eye on, especially 12 year old daughter. I don't notice any curve when she bends over but when I look at her upper chest/sternum one side seems to stick out a little more that the other. Could that be a sign of scoli also? Is it possible for spine to rotate and cause something like that without much curve yet????? Sorry, didn't mean to go off topic. My hubby recently talked to a nurse who assists in scoli screenings in our school district. She did see some other kids with scoli, but not as severe as my sons. Here, there are so many kids that they have to try to get through I don't know how thorough they can be, unless the curve is significant I would imagine it might be hard to detect through clothing, etc.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Kannapolis, North Carolina, near Charlotte
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    373
    Flower Power, I wonder also if she could have gone through a growth spurt. I have conflicting information regarding the issue: I talked on the phone with a chiropractor who said that because her curve is so high now, he couldn't do anything for her, unlike other scoli people he helps, so he agreed that surgery is needed. I appreciated his honesty and not trying to convince me to let him do his stuff instead of surgery. Therefore, he seemed pretty realisitic about the issue. He said though, he never does like PA's, as apparently they misdiagnose or something, and that he felt her curve would not have had that drastic a change in, say 6 months. I also was looking at a photo of Erica leaning over a few years ago, and she looked like she had a rib hump in that photo from the side. Unfortunately, the photo is not a medical photo or anything for the purpose of analysing her health. She was helping her dad build a little windmill and I happened to get a picture of her in the bent forward position. It made me wonder if she had the rib hump then, before the last physical that showed no scoliosis. As you said, it could have been a growth spurt. Also, I wonder if it was gradual and could have been caught at that physical before it became painful to her. Interesting, but aren't we all thankful for surgery!!! Kris

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    51
    They didn't have this kind of screening at the schools I went to and I'm only 26 years old. Did they just start doing this in the past 5-10 years?

    I think they should do it each year for children from kindergarten to 16 years of age.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    73

    No screening in my school either..

    I was diagnosed by my chiropracter after complaining of foot pain. He was just doing a routine check and realized almost right away that I had uneven shoulders and a very prominent hump on the right side. I was 12.

    When I had to get my first brace the teachers were all so interested as to why. Some thought I was in an accident, some thought I contracted some kind of disease. No one ever heard of it. They practically turned me into a lab rat and made my condition very public in the school (against my wishes.) I was teased constantly and "knocked on" when I wore my brace. I only ever met one other person who had to go through wearing a brace until I found this site about 2 months ago.

    I think if it became manditory in schools worldwide then kids with scoliosis wouldn't feel so different and out of place.. especially in small towns or remote cities where no one seems to know what it is.


    --
    By the way.. after being diagnosed my mother decided to get the rest of my family checked. Both my younger brother and sister were also diagnosed though they had very mild curves and "grew out of them" during puberty.
    Age 28
    diagnosed at age 12
    wore a boston brace until age 14
    No surgery, was on "wait and watch" till recently. Got a SpineCor (Jan 27th) to help ease the pain.
    T-curve 73 degrees with severe rotation (curves to the right)
    L-curve 45 degrees with slightly less severe rotation than my T-curve (curves to the left)

    1994 - 5'10" - T-?/L-? (i forget what they really were)
    2006 - 5' 4" - T-56/L-40
    2008/09 - 5' 4" - T-73/L-45

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    47
    There was no screeing done in my school either. My scoliosis was found the summer befor 7th grade when I went in for a physical so I could play volleyball that fall. I ended up having surgery within probably 3 to 4 months because the curvature was too far. I am 16 now, and will be starting my junior year this fall and my school still does not do any screening for scoliosis so I personally tell people to check it out. I believe screeing should start at a young age, I mean its not like its costing the schools any money to have the screening done yearly.

  10. #25
    Mary Lou Guest
    Shaun,

    I'm not sure where you live, but I live in Pennsylvania (US) and I'm having my 20th class reunion this year and I remember being tested every year in high school, so no it isn't something that they just started in the past 5-10 years, at least not in my state.

    Mary Lou

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by Abbi17
    Hey, I live in Ireland, I we dont get any checks in schools or anything! Which is kinna dumb really...I was only Diagnosed with scoliosis 2 months ago, cos I went to my G.P with a sore back!
    Abbi, I also live in Ireland and I had school screening back in 1980

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    the uk, between london and the south coast
    Posts
    142
    last week at my consultation i was told by my surgeon that there did used to be scoli screening in the UK (and more prevalently in scotland) but a while ago (i can't remember when, but it was before i started school in 1991) radiation became the beast of the modern world and something we should all shield ourselves from, there was a big paranoia about "unnecessary" xrays (as there still is) and scoli screening was stopped because of this (and in recent years it hasn't been picked up again due to the increased litigation culture and fear of paedophilia - funny how one thing leads to another, isn't it?)

    my feeling is that any risk from exposure to radiation due to xrays required to check for scoliosis is far outweighed by the benefit, even if it is just peace of mind which is gained. when i was 4 and i started school, it was compulsory to have a medical (i don't know if this is still the case, and it may even vary from region to region in the UK) and a parent was required to attend. the nurse asked me to bend over and my mum asked why. it's only because of that incident and my mum remembering that i was diagnosed at 14. if i hadn't been diagnosed then, i could've gone unchecked for ages. i eventually was starting to get pain when i was about 16 but a lot of people brush off back pain so i have no idea what would've happened if my mum hadn't noticed by chance
    diagnosed aged 14 (2001)
    braced from july 2001 to february 2003 to hold curves
    fused T11-L3 on july 16th 2005 (aged 18)
    Discharged by surgeon july 11th 2007 (aged 20 and almost 2 years post-op)
    scoliosis support forum

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    2
    My school system does it every year from 5th to 9th grade. However even when I had a 34 degree curve, the school failed to detect it for years, and it was only discovered by my doctor at a later physical.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    England
    Posts
    56

    Need screenings in UK

    I live in the UK and we have no screenings for Scoliosis. My Scoliosis was found when I started having back pain so I have no idea how I've had it for. I think the UK should have screenings for Scoliosis as more people can be diagnosed sooner rather then later.
    Adolescent Idiopathic Thoracic Lumbar Scoliosis

    Back Pain started in October 2001
    Diagnosed - June 2003

    Thoracic and Lumbar curves- 37 degrees
    Started Hospital examination - June 2003
    Discharged from hospital - November 2006

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    7

    Screening

    I live in Indiana and my daughter was screened in 5th in Sept. and 6th grade in Sept. We recieved 2 sceening reports that stated she was screened by RN and was found to be normal. Dec. this year 6th grade 3 month after her last screening her aunt who 25 years ago had surgery for scoliosis said get her checked. Dec. 28 she was X rayed and diagnose at 41 degrees. How could they miss this and while my childs health is my responsibilty why would I question with 2 negative screenings by an RN. It went on to 46 degrees by March and we have already had the surgery. At 1 to1.5 degrees per month it would have been nice to catch this in the 5th grade and 22 or so degrees less.

    Bottom line is do not depend on school RNs

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