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Rodverta Braefusion
28-09-2010, 09:15 PM
Hi Dr Scoliosis,

This may be a long shot, but, i recall having health checks at Primary School and i also remember having to bend over so that we could have our spines checked. What i do not recall, is whether or not my parents were told of the results or not, as i never had followup checks. My question to you is:- Is there a record of these checks held somewhere even if archived? Since having my scoliosis correction, i have been doing research on the subject and was interested to find out if i had scoliosis when i was younger and the amount of time it took to progress to 50 degrees, before it went to 58 in eight months.

Thanking you in advance for your reply.

Dr Scoliosis
05-10-2010, 11:44 AM
Thank you for your enquiry.

The Dr Scoliosis on duty today has been involved in scoliosis detection programs in schools for many, many years.

First, I suggest that you read our Policy Statement (http://www.scoliosis-australia.org/scoliosis/policy_re_screening.html) concerning screening and also look at the brochure for the National Self-Detection Program (NSDP) (http://www.scoliosis-australia.org/pdfs/self_detection_brochure.pdf).

The Spine Society of Australia developed a policy of screening as set down in the early 1970s. School screening as performed by school nurses was never endorsed because of too many false positive referrals with all the attendant unfortunate side effects. Two-tiered screening is endorsed but this entails a medical officer trained in scoliosis detection also seeing the child before the parents are notified. This of course is an extraordinarily expensive exercise.

I am not aware of schools keeping records of the screening exercises but in the early days of screening it was generally a matter of the school nurse writing to the parents advising them of a positive screen and suggesting they attend their family doctor.

With the advent of the internet and its ready availability in schools, our present policy is for the brochure to be distributed to girls in Year 7 and Year 9. The reason for including Year 9 girls is that some have a very late growth spurt which is usually between 11 and 13 years and this is when curves become clinically apparent.

You mention that your curve increased 8 degrees in 8 months. When an idiopathic curve is increasing rapidly it is usually in the order of 1 degree a month and you fit nicely into that pattern.

The NSDP is an important health program and we need all the help we can get in promoting it in schools as participation is voluntary. Those who deal with scoliosis and who are members of the Spine Society of Australia routinely ask the parents if they received a brochure from the school if their daughter is referred with a curvature. If not, we suggest that they send the notification to the school principal (http://www.scoliosis-australia.org/pdfs/notification_to_school_principal.pdf).

Any help that you can provide in promoting the NSDP will be much appreciated.