Hesperian Health Guides
Examining for Spinal Curve
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This is discussed in the chapter on physical examination.
POSSIBLE SIGNS OF EARLY SCOLIOSIS
- One shoulder higher than other
- One shoulder blade sticks out more.
- One hip is higher or sticks out more than the other.
- One arm hangs closer to body than the other.
- Sway back.
- Rounded shoulders or ’hump back’.
- A larger crease at one side of waist than other.
- Child stands sagging or leaning to one side.
- Rib hump (when child leans forward).
- A hump near the waist (when leaning forward).
- A brother, sister, parent, or close relative with scoliosis.
|Look along the line of the back with the child bent over.|
a higher rib hump on one side
|The rib hump is formed because where the spine is curved, the vertebrae also are twisted to one side.|
one shoulder lower than the other
|To see the curve better, mark the tip of each vertebra. The actual spinal curve is greater than the curve you have marked.||
actual curve (as seen in X-rays)
|overhead view of vertebrae|
When you examine for scoliosis, also check to see if the curve
|can be straightened (non-fixed),||or cannot be straightened (fixed).|