Scoliosis is a disorder that causes an abnormal curve of the spine and backbone that if left untreated could lead to further health complications. Scoliosis affects about 3% of the U.S. population. Scoliosis is commonly developed in children between ages 10 and 15 and is about two times more common in girls than boys.
Diagnosing and treating scoliosis in its early stages provides more options for treatment. Children’s bones aren’t fully hardened which allows for non-surgical treatments, like bracing, that can be used to stop the curvatures progression.
The early signs of scoliosis
Early signs of scoliosis include:
- Clothing fits awkwardly or hang unevenly
- Hump or uneven appearance around area of rib cage
- Shoulders that appear to be different heights
- One hip sticks out more than the other
Moderate or severe scoliosis is more obvious and easier to diagnose. These symptoms include:
- Changes in walking
- Decreased range of motion
- Difficulty breathing
- Back pain and/or back spasms
Children exhibiting any of these types of symptoms should be evaluated by their pediatrician or medical provider. Often times, the most likely event, as part of the diagnostic process, will be order to x-rays to evaluate the spine.
X-Rays and “stitching”
In simple terms, stitching refers to a technique used after the x-rays have been taken, in which multiple x-ray images of a body part (in the case, the spine) are used to create one single, high resolution image. The process of putting them together is referred to as stitching.
By having consecutive images merged together to create an overview of the entire spine, a more comprehensive evaluation of the spine is possible, with our radiologist being able to provide that information to the prescribing provider.
Our Capitol Imaging Services affiliate, Diagnostic Imaging Services (DIS) performs the x-ray stitching technique at centers in Covington, Metairie and Slidell, LA. Those who are recommended to have x-rays do not need an appointment and can come to our facility for service.