Pediatricians typically screen adolescents for scoliosis at preventive health visits. Usually we screen visually and obtain a screening scoliosis x-ray series if we suspect significant curvature. One can use the Scoliometer application from Dr. Kevin Lau/Health in Your Hands to screen patients with any mobile device. The inclinometer built into the device facilitate this. One places the mobile device on the child’s spine at the area of greatest curvature and records the Angle of Trunk Rotation (ATR) displayed. Patients with ATRs of 5 degrees or higher should be referred to orthopedics for further evaluation. An ATR of 7 degrees corresponds to a radiographic Cobb angle of 20 degrees, which indicates mild scoliosis.
The application is just $4.99 for IOS and $4.49 for Android devices, and includes a built in video guide and recommendations for its use. Dr. Lau recently released the $4.99 ScolioTrack application to facilitate parents monitoring their child’s scoliosis.