Your Scoliosis Evaluation

If a school screening or your health care provider finds signs of scoliosis, you’ll visit a special bone healthcare provider (orthopedist) for an evaluation. This visit helps determine what treatment may be best for you.

Doctor speaking to teenage girl and her mother.

During your evaluation

Your bone health care provider may:

  • Ask you about your health history (for instance, if you’ve ever had surgery) and family history (if someone in your family has scoliosis)

  • Take X-rays of your back to get a closer look at your spine

  • Decide how much more you are likely to grow. (To help do this, the health care provider may ask girls if they’ve gotten their period yet.)

  • Examine your back while you’re standing up and bending over

  • Measure the size, location, and pattern of the spinal curve

  • Test how flexible your spine is, and how strong your back and neck muscles are

Why treat scoliosis?

A serious spinal curve that isn’t treated can get worse as you grow. Over time, it may cause problems. These can include:

  • Back pain

  • Arthritis in your back

  • Your body looking twisted

  • Clothes not fitting right

  • Heart and breathing problems (rare)