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
|Figure 1: Lateral radiograph.||Figure 2: Curves magnitude, measured in degrees using the Cobb method.|
When bracing treatment is started, radiographs are usually performed with the brace on to ensure that the brace is effective in achieving some correction of the curve(s) (see figure 4). When bracing is use to make a correction X-rays are often used to determine progress. These X-rays can be taken either in the brace or out of the brace depending on the preference of the physician.
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study of the spine is not routinely obtained for patients with AIS. The MRI is specifically used to review other things in addition to the bones of the spine, for instance to view the spinal cord to ensure there are no abnormalities. An MRI is usually ordered if your physician finds some subtle neurologic abnormalities on physical examination, if there is significant pain associated with the scoliosis or if the radiographs demonstrate an "atypical" curve pattern. The likelihood of having something abnormal on the MRI is very small but would require further evaluation with a neurosurgeon if abnormalities are seen.
|Figure 3: X-rays can be taken in which the patient lays on the table and bends to the right and then to the left to assess the flexibility of the spine.||Figure 4: Radiographs performed without (left) and with the brace on (right).|