There are a few ways your doctor can use to detect signs of scoliosis. The most preliminary step is to get a postural analysis during your physical examination. If there is any sign of potential scoliosis, your doctor will then refer you to a specialist. Then, a spinal X-ray is taken to pinpoint the exact location and degree of curvature in the spine.
In addition to the spinal X-ray, your doctor may also examine your wrists and bones to help determine your skeletal age and estimate the progression of the spinal curvature. Depending upon your specific condition, your doctor may recommend that you go in for periodic checkups.
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The Scoliometer, or inclinometer, is also used as a device to empirically measure the amount of asymmetry in the torso. The Scoliometer is useful for quick estimates in a pain-free, non-invasive way that also helps minimize one's exposure to X-rays.
Beyond medical checkups, treatment for scoliosis includes the use of a brace and/or surgery. When scoliosis is mild, it does not impinge upon one's lifestyle very much. People can live and function quite normally. There are several different types of braces, but they are all used when a child has not reached skeletal maturity.
Scoliosis surgery, also called spinal fusion, helps correct the curve, but not all the way. The bones in the curve are fused together using metal rods, hooks, screws, or wire to hold the spinal area straight while it heals. Surgery is usually not recommended except in the most severe of cases.