Scoliosis Case Study 1
13 year old female with 24 degree thoracolumbar curve reduced to 5 degrees!
This patient presented to Elevation Health in Salt Lake City, Utah with her mother, who reported that she had taken her daughter to the doctor 9 months ago. The family doctor took an x-ray, which was reviewed by Dr. Lee at the time of the initial examination. The mild curvature measured 6 degrees.
The recommendation by the family doctor was to wait one year and take another x-ray to see if there was any worsening of the condition. 9 months later, the mother knew her daughter’s curvature had progressed. The patient complained of daily neck, right shoulder, upper back and shoulder blade pain, as well as low back pain.
Her symptoms were worse when seated, and relieved when lying down. An examination was performed, and several notable postural changes indicated a scoliosis. X-rays were ordered for verification and definitive diagnosis. The curvature measured 24 degrees, an increase of 400% in just 9 months.
Since the patient is school age, she spent most her days seated and in pain.
A full-time (21-23 hours daily) ScoliBrace was recommended and ordered. Two weeks of mirror-image traction to increase flexibility was performed, which facilitated the initial use of the brace by increasing flexibility. Within 2 weeks, the patient was using the brace full time day and nighty, and sleeping comfortably. She reported improvement in the symptoms as well.
Upon re-examination 30 days after starting the ScoliBrace treatment protocol, her in-brace x-ray showed improvement of the curve, which decreased from 24 degrees to 8 degrees. At 90 days, it had decreased to 7.5 degrees. Upon re-examination at the end of one year, it had decreased to 5 degrees. Notable decrease in the vertebral rotation had occurred, which is evidence of correction of the vertebral deformity.
The patient improved significantly, and reports being pain-free. The curvature improved from 24 degrees at initial examination, to 5 degrees one year later. This is an improvement of 19 degrees.
It is common to take a “wait and see” approach in scoliosis. Unfortunately, scoliosis can be very aggressive and the deformity can progress significantly in a relatively short period of time. It should also be recognized that early detection of a curvature, and bracing when the curvature is small allows for a much better result. Allowing the curve to advance before seeking treatment wastes the limited time available for correction, and the results can be less than optimal. This does not mean that advanced cases cannot be helped. Rather, if one expects optimum results, early intervention is the key.
Of note is the decrease in vertebral rotation. This can only occur if the vertebra “wedging” is decreased. Wedging as the vertebra deforms is what causes the rotational component in scoliosis. Therefore, a decrease in rotation indicates a decrease in wedging… a true growth of the vertebra to normal. This is one of the key features of using the ScoliBrace.