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Scoliosis



Scoliosis
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.02

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    abnormality, congenital, curvature, forward-bending, idiopathic, orthopedic, orthopedist, orthosis, thoracolumbosacral, diagnosis, fuses, exam, extremely, cases, abnormal, affected
     content words:    New York


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Scoliosis
By Jennifer Kenny
  

1     Did you ever wonder what the doctor was looking for when checking your back during your annual exam? Or perhaps you had a similar exam completed by the school nurse in her office? That exam is known as the forward-bending test. Pediatricians use this test each year and about fifty percent of all states have public schools that use it, too. It's a check for scoliosis. It's not a paper and pencil test. Instead, the patient keeps his or her knees straight and bends over, appearing to touch his or her feet, while his or her back is examined. The nurse or doctor wants to make sure there are no abnormal spinal curves on the patient.
 
2     A healthy spine seems to run straight down the back's middle. There's a gentle curve to it. It helps a person to stay upright. It is needed to walk and run. When a person is diagnosed with scoliosis, the spine is curving in a C or S shape or is twisted. Scoliosis comes from a word in the Greek language meaning crooked.
 
3     Out of one hundred people, three will have some form of scoliosis. For some it is not too much of a problem. For others, wearing a brace or surgery is necessary. To measure the curve, doctors determine something called the Cobb angle. Depending on that number, treatment is determined. From ten to fifteen degrees, the patient is monitored to make sure the curve doesn't get worse. From twenty to forty degrees, the patient normally requires a back brace. Surgery is recommended for those whose curve is calculated to be between forty to fifty degrees.

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