The doctor will initially take a detailed medical history and may ask questions about recent growth. During the physical exam, your doctor may have your child stand and then bend forward from the waist, with arms hanging loosely, to see if one side of the rib cage is more prominent than the other.
Your doctor may also perform a neurological exam to check for:
- Muscle weakness
- Abnormal reflexes
Plain X-rays can confirm the diagnosis of scoliosis and reveal the severity of the spinal curvature. If a doctor suspects that an underlying condition — such as a tumor — is causing the scoliosis, he or she may recommend additional imaging tests, including:
Feb. 03, 2012
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce very detailed images of bones and soft tissues.
- Computerized tomography (CT). CT scans combine X-rays taken from many different directions to produce more-detailed images than do plain X-rays.
- Bone scan. Bone scans involve the injection of a radioactive material, which travels to the parts of your bones that are injured or healing.
- Scoliosis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Scoliosis/default.asp. Accessed Dec. 19, 2011.
- Spiegel DA, et al. The spine. In: Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed Dec. 19, 2011.
- Scheri SA. Clinical features, evaluation and diagnosis of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 19, 2011.
- Thomas MA, et al. Scoliosis and kyphosis. In: Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed Dec. 19, 2011.
- Mercier LR. Scoliosis. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..C2009-0-38601-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&uniqId=291436269-101. Accessed Dec. 19, 2011.
- Scherl SA. Treatment and prognosis of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 19, 2011.
- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed Dec. 19, 2011.
- General nuclear medicine. American College of Radiology. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?PG=gennuclear. Accessed Dec. 19, 2011.
- AskMayoExpert. For what spine conditions are bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) used at Mayo Clinic? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2010.