USPSTF: More research on adolescent scoliosis screenings needed

If you're a parent, it's understandable that you might be concerned about scoliosis screenings for your children. Though these screenings can be helpful, it may be possible to go too far, according to a recent opinion from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

That organization said that there currently isn't enough evidence to justify scoliosis screenings for children between 10 and 18 years old without symptoms. This new thought specifically applies to what it called "adolescent idiopathic scoliosis" in a draft recommendation.

While the USPSTF did find evidence to suggest that children with this form of scoliosis might not display symptoms, there appears to be some way to go before there's a conclusion. Previously, the organization has argued against screenings, saying that they could lead to unnecessary treatment or be inaccurate.

"The USPSTF said that there currently isn't enough evidence to justify scoliosis screenings."

The current stance may evolve after the public comment period on the draft ends. A statement in Practice Update said that this would come on June 26, and quoted Dr. John W. Epling, who explained that "primary care clinicians should use their clinical judgment when deciding which patients to screen" as more research on the subject continues.

The draft mentioned some of the conflicting opinions about screening, which persist around the world. Those that do seem to support screening, according to this statement, put an apaprent emphasis on the person conducting it, citing the need for skill and proper training. It referenced a 2011 document from the UK National Screening Committee, saying that this organization does not support scoliosis screening.

In the end, the real burden may lie in finding someone with the expertise to sufficiently screen a child, if it turns out to be necessary, or know when such treatment isn't required. Visit Bronston Chiropractic or our Medical Division Community Care Clinic for a knowledgeable provider.