Scoliosis is estimated to affect 4.5% of the general population. In the United State of approximately 273 million people, this means that over 12 million cases of scoliosis exist, and almost 500 more are diagnosed every day – about 173,000 every year! According to some studies, the average scoliosis patient will suffer a 14-year reduction in their average life expectancy. This means that if by some miracle we could eliminate scoliosis completely; this would add 168 million years of health and productivity to our society. Clearly this is not a minor issue, but an epidemic, and one that should be taken very seriously.
Every year in the US, roughly 20,000 Harrington rod implantation surgeries are performed on patients with scoliosis, at an average cost of $120,000 per operation. Each year 8,000 people who underwent the surgery are legally defined as permanently disabled.
Follow up x-rays on these individuals show that about 22 years after surgery their scoliosis has returned to pre-surgery levels. The Harrington rods bend, break loose from the wires, or worse break completely in two. Corrosion (rust) is also found in two out of every three Harrington rod patients. After the operation, the average patient also suffers a 25% reduction in their spinal range of motion.
Please do not have surgery before investigating our methods and discussing your case with us!
Scoliosis Statistics: Here are some startling statistics about scoliosis:
- 87% of children ages 3-10 who are diagnosed with scoliosis will undergo surgery to correct the scoliosis. Of these, 20 – 45% will require additional surgeries.
- Girls ages 10-16 are 8-10 times more likely to have their scoliosis get worse than boys the same age.
- The average adolescent scoliosis (above 30°) worsens by about 7° each passing year.
- You don’t have to let your child or loved one become a statistic. There is something you can do about it that works.
Scoliosis is diagnosed in a very specific manner. Typically, the doctor will obtain a family history, since scoliosis has shown a significant genetic link. Chances are, if your child has scoliosis, a sister, brother, parent, or grandparent also has it to some degree. Once you family history is taken, certain orthopedic tests are conducted, such as an Adam’s forward bending test. This test shows if there is a rib hump present on one side of the spine. The only true objective means, however, for determining if your child has scoliosis is by taking spinal x-rays. The scoliosis is measured at the top and bottom of the curvature by a geometrical measurement called Cobb’s angle. Conventional medicine proposes that a scoliosis below 20° typically does not need to be treated, especially if there are no symptoms present. However, more recent research has shown the long- term effects of scoliosis may include early arthritis, disc disease, chronic muscle and spine pain, and cardiovascular dysfunction. Additionally, new evidence suggests that people with scoliosis may in fact be in a state of constant pain. Their bodies simply adapt to the presence of a constant low threshold pain syndrome. Bracing, such as the Boston brace, is usually performed on scoliosis curvatures up to 30-45°. However, the purpose of most types of braces is only to halt scoliosis progression, not reverse it. Bracing has been shown, in some cases, to slow the progression of large curvatures over 30 degrees, but has a limited or no effect in the long-term progression of the disease. When a scoliosis progresses beyond 45-50°, surgery becomes the usual prescribed conventional option. Surgery can consist of several techniques, either alone or in combination. Scoliosis surgery does work on a short-term basis, but lifelong follow-ups do not show sustained improvement. In some cases, the surgery has to be repeated when the implanted hardware fails or breaks.
To learn about how scoliosis can be treated by a minimally-invasive spinal technique, read the articles below:
Introduction to Scoliosis Booklet
by Dr. Clayton Stitzel, D.C.
The Pettibon System: A Neurophysiologic Approach to Spine and Posture Correction
by Mark Morningstar, D.C., Burl R. Pettibon, D.C., and Carol L. Renz, PhD. Chapter in the recently published medical textbook, “Mimimally Invasive Spinal Technique.”
Scoliosis Treatment Using a Combination of Manipulative and Rehabilitative Therapy: A Retrospective Case Series
by Mark W. Morningstar, Dennis Woggon, and Gary Lawrence