Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)
An International Organization Dedicated to the Education, Research and Treatment of Spinal Deformity
Our Mission is to Foster Optimal Care for All Patients with Spinal Deformities
Since scoliosis gets larger during rapid growth, the potential for growth is evaluated taking into consideration the patient's age, the status of whether females have had their first menstrual period, as well as radiographic parameters. In general, girls grow until 14 years of age, while boys grow until 18 years of age. Girls grow very rapidly until their first menstrual period, and then their growth generally slows down. Women continue to grow until approximately 2 years after their first menstrual period.
Radiographs of the spine, pelvis, and hand/wrist are also used to determine growth. The Risser grading system (Figure 1) is often used to determine a child's skeletal maturity (how much growth is left) on the pelvis, which correlates with how much spine growth is left. The Risser grading system rates a child's' skeletal maturity on a scale of 0 to 5. Patients who are Risser 0 and 1 are growing rapidly, while patients who are 4 and 5 have stopped growing. Generally patients who are being treated in a scoliosis clinic will have their height measured at each visit to help determine growth potential.