In order to quantify and track the progression of scoliosis a standard measurement known as the Cobb Angle (named after Dr. John R Cobb) is used. In 1948 he outlined how to measure the angle of the spinal curve, a method used worldwide to quantify spinal deformities.
For those being tested before puberty the Forward Bending test is usually used and only those testing positive will have x rays taken.
What is the significance of the Cobb Angle?
By determining the curvature of the spine in degrees using the Cobb Angle, Doctors can decide on the level of treatment needed. A curvature of 10 degrees is regarded as a minimum angulation to define scoliosis. The next range of 10 to 15 degrees does not normally require treatment other than monitoring by an Orthopaedic doctor until the patient has gone through puberty. A measurement of 20 to 40 degrees will generally result in the Orthopaedic doctor prescribing a back brace to prevent the curvature from worsening.
When is surgery required?
If the Cobb Angle is 40 to 50 degrees or more, surgery may be required to correct the curve. The surgery involves a spinal fusion to link or fuse the vertebrae together to prevent further curvature is performed. Patients undergoing surgery with all the possible complications and risks face a long and often painful recovery.
If this sounds painful, as a patient diagnosed with this condition you may be searching for alternative treatments and found our website. Patients just like you have turned to the a for less invasive methods to improve their scoliosis. Contact our office today to make an appointment or to answer your questions about our scoliosis treatments.