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Your Scoliosis Evaluation

If a school screening or your healthcare provider finds signs of scoliosis, you’ll visit an orthopedist for an evaluation. An orthopedist is a doctor who treats bones and muscles. This visit helps determine what treatment may be best for you.

Girl and woman in exam room talking to healthcare provider.

During your evaluation

Your orthopedist may:

  • Ask you about your health history, such as if you’ve ever had surgery

  • Ask about your family health history, such as if someone in your family has scoliosis

  • Take X-rays of your back to get a closer look at your spine

  • Decide how much more you are likely to grow. You may be asked if you've gotten your period yet.

  • Examine your back while you’re standing up and bending over

  • Measure the size, location, and pattern of the spinal curve

  • Test how flexible your spine is, and how strong your back and neck muscles are

Why treat scoliosis?

A serious spinal curve that isn’t treated can get worse as you grow. Over time, it may cause problems. These can include:

  • Back pain

  • Arthritis in your back

  • Your body looking twisted

  • Clothes not fitting right

  • Heart and breathing problems (rare)

© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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