- 12-year-old female
- Initial Cobb angles 53º/71º
- Risser 4
A school nurse first detected scoliosis in this NY patient. Her family then consulted with doctors who made the official diagnosis of 53° and 71° scoliosis curves. The doctors recommended immediate surgery. They also ordered an MRI to rule out any abnormalities (because of the patient’s apparent rapid onset of severe scoliosis).
The MRI, taken that same month, revealed that the Cobb angles (53°/71° in standing x-ray) measured 40°/48° in the supine (lying on back) position. When lying down, there is less gravity weighing on the spine which affects Cobb angle measurement. In certain cases, doctors may order supine x-rays (in addition to standing x-rays) to assess spinal flexibility – but this is not routine.
Wanting to try a non-surgical alternative, her parents decided to make the trip to Boston for a Cheneau-Gensingen brace and a week of Schroth immersion therapy. While the outlook for this degree of curvature is not promising, SJ is a patient with an incredible work ethic who managed to achieve an exceptional result. Her parents also brought her to Boston frequently for close follow-up and brace adjustments as her spine changed throughout treatment.
Her most recent standing x-ray shown on the right (taken just before the patient started weaning from brace wear) revealed Cobb angles of 42° and 46°. Her result is quite an achievement – especially when considering it came from exercise and bracing alone!