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December 6, 1985

Scoliosis management now subject of numerous questions

JAMA. 1985;254(21):3009-3019. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360210019003

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"Many of you probably thought you'd seen the end of scoliosis," G. Dean MacEwen, MD, of Wilmington, Del, told a roomful of orthopedic surgeons earlier this year. "But today, with school screening sending patients with mild curves into our offices, and patients treated years earlier now turning up as adults, requesting—and in some cases requiring— treatment, all of us have to be to some degree involved in the subject."

In fact, however, revived debate at a meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in Las Vegas indicates that, for scoliosis, problems supposedly solved by medical science have once again become a mystery.

Controversy rages on almost every aspect of scoliosis management. Questions now being asked include:

  • Is scoliosis really a dangerous medical problem? If so, do its chief dangers or complications involve pain, respiratory compromise, or cosmesis? If not, can bracing or surgery be justified? Do curves continue