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Health Briefs

Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Plano

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The State of Texas has officially declared June 2012 as Scoliosis Awareness Month throughout the state. June is also recognized as National Scoliosis Awareness Month in an effort to promote public awareness, identification and treatment of scoliosis.

About 6 million Americans are impacted by scoliosis, a disorder of the spine in which the vertebrae rotate, creating a curve in the upper or lower back. Most of those with scoliosis develop the disorder between the ages of 10 to 15, but it also impacts adults later in life and can be very painful if left untreated.

According to Dr. Richard Hostin, M.D., orthopedic spine specialist and medical director of the Baylor Scoliosis Center, currently there is not a known cause of scoliosis, which can cause pain, an inability to perform physical activity, increased pressure on the lungs and sometimes self-esteem issues related to physical deformities.

Most scoliosis patients experience few problems, but for those with a progressive curvature, problems can be severe. “Girls are five times more likely than boys to require treatment because scoliosis in women progresses more often than it does in men,” says Dr. Hostin.

Early detection, screening and educational programs are all vital to helping identify and treat those with scoliosis before the disorder progresses to a debilitating state. Dr. Hostin says that parents, teachers and school nurses can all assist in early detection efforts by knowing the following signs and symptoms of scoliosis.

  • One shoulder that appears to be higher than the other
  • A pelvis that appears to be tilted
  • Any imbalance in the rib cage or other deformities along the back

For more information about scoliosis or the Baylor Scoliosis Center visit

Physicians are members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Scott & White Health's subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and are neither employees nor agents of those medical centers, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Plano or Baylor Scott & White Health.