Present in one out of every 25 children, scoliosis is a common diagnosis among pediatric patients. Because of its relative prevalence and the fact that early detection can greatly improve outcomes, the Scoliosis Research Society recommends that parents have their children screened for the condition.
In most cases, scoliosis is discovered between the ages of 10 and 15, so this is when a screening is most often recommended. According to SRS, girls should be screened once at 10 years of age and again at 12. The organization’s recommendation for parents of boys is to have them screened once when they are 12 or 13 years old.
To determine whether a scoliosis curve is present, a physician will carefully examine the patient’s back while the patient is standing in a relaxed position. The physician will also use a visual exam called the Adam's test to see if one side of the back is higher than the other. Additional signs that a doctor will look out for include shoulder and waistline asymmetry. If scoliosis is discovered, the physician will use radiographs to determine the severity and plot a course of treatment.