Lack of Scoliosis screening in schools could be leading to more surgeries
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Dr. John Dimar with Norton Leatherman Spine just finished what he calls scoliosis season, which is when he's busiest operating on spines. Unfortunately, he says he's seeing more surgeries than usual.'
"We're seeing an uptick in the number of scoliosis cases present to us that are surgical rather than braceable. Most of them can be treated with braces," says Dimar.
He believes spinal curves aren't being caught early enough and says part of the problem could be lack of screening.
"There are some scientific articles that suggest that because school screenings are no longer done, there's been an increase in the actual number of cases that require surgeries," says Dimar.
School districts, like JCPS, stopped screening when it no longer became a state requirement.
Dr. Dimar says children should be screened for scoliosis during their back-to-school physical, but parents can also check them.
Look for chest asymmetry, lumbar spine asymmetry, unlevel shoulders or pelvis, or a protruding shoulder blade.
Dr. Dimar says early treatment is the best treatment.
"If we catch these curves when they're between 20 and 40 degrees, particularly at the lower threshold, we can successfully treat them with a brace over a period of 2 years."
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