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Pediatr Ann. 2013 Nov;42(11):224-8. doi: 10.3928/00904481-20131022-09.

Diagnosis and treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.


Scoliosis is defined as a lateral curvature of the spine greater than 10 degrees on radiography that is typically associated with trunk rotation. The three major types of scoliosis are congenital, idiopathic, and neuromuscular. Idiopathic scoliosis is divided into three subcategories based on the age of onset. Infantile idiopathic scoliosis affects patients younger than 3 years, juvenile idiopathic scoliosis appears in children between 3 and 10 years, and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) occurs in skeletally immature patients older than 10 years. AIS is the most common form of idiopathic scoliosis. Approximately 2% to 4% of children aged 10 to 16 years have some degree of spinal curvature. Although some researchers view routine screening for AIS as controversial, well-child examinations and sports physicals are an optimal time to evaluate for AIS in the clinical setting. In 2008, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Scoliosis Research Society, the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, and the American Academy of Pediatrics convened a task force to review the issues related to scoliosis screening and issued an information statement concluding that although screening has limitations, the potential benefits that patients with idiopathic scoliosis receive from early treatment can be substantial. Recommendations are now that females are screened twice, at age 10 and 12 years, and males once at age 13 or 14 years. Screening during routine well-child examinations and/or school-based evaluations will help identify patients who need ongoing monitoring. The evaluation of curvatures in conjunction with the level of skeletal maturity will help to guide the management of the curvature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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