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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1983 May-Jun;8(4):373-7.

Progression in scoliosis. A 360 degrees change in 75 years.


With the proliferation of school screening programs for spinal deformity, attention has been directed to methods of scoliosis evaluation and follow-up that avoid serial x-ray exposure. An historical review of the scoliosis literature prior to the extensive use of x-ray in scoliosis care has demonstrated much that is now being "rediscovered." By 1900, screening for spinal deformity in the schools had been instituted, pertinent findings of the physical examination in patients with scoliosis had been well described, and early natural history information had been obtained regarding the behavior of small curves and curves associated with thoracic lordosis. Recordings of surface contours and rib humps, using inclinometers, lead rulers, and other measuring devices, were used to assess the progression of curves. Low contour braces were widely available. Although our orthopaedic forefathers had many erroneous ideas, a perusal of the early orthopaedic writings from around the turn of the century has shown how little is "new" (other than changes in material and spinal instrumentation techniques) from what was recognized 75 years ago.

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