Medical history and physical examination for scoliosis

A medical history for scoliosis includes gathering information about:

  • Age.
  • Age at first menstrual period.
  • Family history of scoliosis.
  • General health disorders.
  • The presence of heart or urinary tract problems at birth.
  • Past severe illnesses, operations, or injuries.

A physical examination to diagnose scoliosis includes:

  • Visually examining the back in several positions (such as standing straight and bending over).
  • Checking for birthmarks or other skin problems.
  • Examining the function of the brain and spinal cord and muscle strength.
  • Measuring height and weight.
  • Measuring leg lengths.

Last Updated: August 27, 2009

Author: Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & Thomas S. Renshaw, MD - Orthopedics

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