Signs
 

Scoliosis

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Overview

    • How to Elicit

    • Inspect the spine, and then palpate the spinous processes of the vertebrae.
    • Look For

    • Lateral curvature of the spine
    • Distortion of the trunk
    • Prominence of the ribs
    • Assymetry of skin folds about the flank
    • Shoulder elevation
    • Scapular rotation
    • Causes of Scoliosis

    • Idiopathic (80%)
    • Congenital - maldevelopment of vertebrae
    • Neuromuscular disorders - cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy
    • Syndromal - Marfan, neurofibromatosis, Down syndrome
    • Trauma - fracture, dislocation, burns
    • Degenerative - secondary to facet joint osteoarthritis
  • Consider dropping a plumb line, if one is available, from the midline at the level of the atlantoaxial joint. This will aid in easily identifying even minor lateral curvature.
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