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Clinical Summary

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: Screening

Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Population Children and adolescents aged 10 to 18 y
Recommendation No recommendation.
Grade: I (insufficient evidence)
Excluded Populations This recommendation does not apply to children and adolescents presenting for evaluation of back pain or obvious deformities in spinal curvature.
Screening Tests Adequate evidence indicates that currently available screening tests can accurately detect adolescent idiopathic scoliosis when used in combination. Radiography is used to confirm the diagnosis and also to quantify the degree of curvature (ie, the Cobb angle); the Risser sign (the stage of ossification of the iliac apophysis) is used to monitor curve progression
Treatments Information about the benefits or harms of treatment of screen-detected adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is inadequate. Treatment is determined by the degree of spinal curvature and the potential for further skeletal growth, and may include observation, exercise, bracing, or surgery.

For a summary of the evidence systematically reviewed in making this recommendation, the full recommendation statement, and supporting documents, please go to

Current as of: January 2018

Internet Citation: Clinical Summary: Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: Screening. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. January 2018.

USPSTF Program Office   5600 Fishers Lane, Mail Stop 06E53A, Rockville, MD 20857