Outcome of Spinal Screening

As many of our readers know, the Scoliosis Research Society, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and over 23 states suggest or require school screening for abnormal spinal curvatures. In September of 1992, Dr. William P. Bunnell, Professor and Chairperson, Loma Linda University Medical Center, presented his paper, “Outcome of Spinal Screening” to members of the Scoliosis Research Society; his findings will also be published in an upcoming issue of Spine. Dr. Bunnell is a developer of the Scoliometer, a hand-held device used in assisting spinal screening programs across the country. What follows are excerpts from an interview that the NSF conducted with Dr. Bunnell about his study:

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Exercise for Adolescents

Adolescents with scoliosis and their families have questions concerning exercise. These questions are usually about two general areas:

  1. Can exercise correct or stop the progression of the scoliosis curve?
  2. Are recreational exercise and sports participation advised?

In this article, we will present some of the advantages and limitations of exercise for adolescents with scoliosis. Adults with scoliosis, including those with corrective surgeries, often also seek advice about exercises, especially if they begin experiencing discomfort and stiffness in their backs. Therapeutic and recreational exercise for adults will be presented in a future article.

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Early Onset Scoliosis

From time to time, the National Scoliosis Foundation receives questions from parents about early onset or infantile scoliosis. To find out more about this spinal abnormality, we asked Nancy Schommer, author of Stopping Scoliosis, to interview Dr. Ronald Moskovich, who is Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at New York University as well as a practicing specialist in spinal disorders at the Hospital for Joint Diseases Orthopaedic Institute in New York City. What follows are excerpts from the interview.

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Throughout history man has tried to straighten out that which nature has bent, twisted, or curved. Hippocrates not only gave a name to scoliosis but he also tried to correct it. Over the centuries since then physicians have used a wide, and sometimes strange, variety of devices to straighten a crooked spine.
In today’s world when a growing adolescent is diagnosed with progressive idiopathic scoliosis and the curve is between 25 and 40 degrees, the physician will prescribe the wearing of a brace to keep the curve from worsening. Depending on the severity of the curve, the curve pattern, and the amount of growth remaining, the physician may not wait to document progression but will prescribe bracing on the initial visit.

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