Screening for Scoliosis in Children

Scoliosis, a condition that causes an abnormal curve in the spine, can occur at any time during a child’s growth. Pediatricians routinely screen for scoliosis starting at age 10, when many children begin to have large growth spurts. Screening is often offered in schools. If your child has not been screened for scoliosis but you suspect a spine or posture problem, the first step is to talk to your child’s pediatrician.

Adam’s Forward Bend Test

During a scoliosis screening exam known as the Adam’s forward bend test, a child stands and folds forward at the waist as a pediatrician or nurse looks for the most common signs of scoliosis, such as uneven shoulders, a prominent shoulder blade, or an uneven waist. Other signs may include leaning to one side, uneven leg length, and elevated hips.

Information from this screening test can be used to make a referral to an orthopedic specialist at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, who can make an accurate diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan for a child with scoliosis.