Scoliosis Monitoring Project
By Annie Clayton, PT, DPT, PCS
Why do I feel so fortunate to work at P.G. Chambers School? Because I have been given the opportunity to develop and lead the Scoliosis Monitoring Program, an innovative program that is significantly impacting the lives of our students by going above and beyond best practice.
Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine and it affects 2-3% of the U.S. population by the age of 16. More significantly, it affects 40% of children diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Children with diagnoses that affect the neuromuscular system are at risk of developing scoliosis as well. Therefore, many of our students here at P.G. Chambers School are at risk for developing a spinal curvature.
Because of this risk, our physical therapy department is now doing semi-annual scoliosis checks. If they have concerns regarding the spinal alignment of a student, they refer the child to Dr. Jenfu Cheng, MD, our resident physiatrist, for a Scoliosis screen. After the screening, Dr. Cheng makes a medical recommendation to the family and school team. If he suspects a positive Scoliosis diagnosis, the student is referred for x-rays to confirm the diagnosis and determine the severity of the spinal curve.
Prevention and early diagnosis are the keys to limiting the effects of Scoliosis! For more information regarding our Scoliosis Monitoring Program contact the Nursing Department or your child’s physical therapist.
Things to watch for include (1 or more):
- Uneven shoulders
- A prominent shoulder blade
- Uneven waist line
- Leaning to one side