At Children’s Hospital Boston, we know that the first step in treating your child is forming an accurate and complete diagnosis.
Doctors will use medical and family histories, physical exams and diagnostic tests to determine the nature, extent and effects of your child’s scoliosis and underlying neuromuscular disease. Your Children’s multi-disciplinary care team will evaluate his:
- nutritional status
- lung and heart function
- functional level
- joints and extremities (for contractures)
- balance and ambulatory (walking) level
X-rays and other tests
X-rays (front and side) are the main diagnostic tools for confirming the presence of scoliosis, as well as the severity of the curve. To evaluate the underlying condition associated with the scoliosis, additional tests can include:
- magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- computerized tomography scan (CT or CAT scan)
- blood tests
- ultrasound (sonogram)
- bone scans
- bone density scans (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, DEXA, DXA)
- muscle biopsy
- pulmonary function tests
- electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction studies
Doctors can often predict the likely progression of your child’s curves by assessing the magnitude of his existing curve(s), as well as his physiologic and skeletal growth levels.
|Our Orthopedic Clinical Effectiveness Research Center (CERC)|
The Orthopedic Clinical Effectiveness Research Center (CERC) was established by the
Orthopedic Center to improve the quality of life for children with musculoskeletal disorders. This collaborative clinical research program is unique in the nation and is playing an instrumental role in establishing, for the first time, evidence-based standards of care for pediatric orthopedic patients throughout the world.